All The Relaxing Made Me Forget

Well, the blog is fixed and in proper working order again, so comments should show up as you leave them. Unless you don’t leave any comments. In which case the absence of comment moderation won’t really be a factor at all.

D and I got home from our trip last Wednesday night, so Thursday I drove to my parents’ house to pick up the little guy (who really can’t be considered a little guy anymore considering that he and I now wear the same size shoe). Anyway, he had a great time with all of his grandparents, and he was especially tickled that he and Martha got to eat supper together at the Western Sizzlin. He ordered a cheeseburger and says it was delicious.

(It has taken me almost two hours to write the previous two paragraphs.)

(I’ve run across a TV special called William, Kate, & the Royal Baby, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to be productive under these circumstances.)

So, considering my record-setting pace-o-slowness with this post, I guess I’d better just get on with the business at hand and hope for better, wordier days later this week. It’s just difficult to make much forward narrative progress while watching footage of the Royal Family. I’m like a moth to flame.

Therefore comma here are a few things I wanted to share with you.

– When I was growing up, Mama always made notations in her cookbook. Her notes would say things like, “Great for a crowd,” or “Delicious in the summertime,” or, my personal favorite, “Men LOVE this.” I always wondered how Mama could tell if a group of men especially liked something she cooked, but then I made this pork tenderloin recipe for a group, and it all became crystal clear.

Well, tonight I made this potato-beef casserole, and the fellas (my two plus Joseph, my cousin’s little boy) definitely had a reaction that would merit a “Men LOVE this” notation in a cookbook. Granted, I thought it was good, but they thought it was DELICIOUS. I added a little Worcestershire and substituted Panko bread crumbs, and it was one of those stick-to-your-ribs dishes that only needs a salad to be a complete meal.

– My friend Carol has written such a touching post about losing the labels. Carol’s words are so thought-provoking, and they apply to all sorts of circumstances, regardless of what specific challenges you or your family might be facing.

– Candy Crush Update: I played off and on for about four days, and I was proud of myself for not buying any extra lives or bonuses or whathaveyou because there’s no question that the game is super-addictive. However, early this afternoon – after trying to complete level 23 for the third day in a row – I realized something: I am really, really terrible at Candy Crush. Seriously. I’m just not good at it. So I’m walking away. I feel good about this development.

– I’m always challenged by Jen’s thoughts on motherhood, and this post, “Flourish,” is no exception.

– At least once a week I get an email from someone who asks about things to do / places to eat / sights to see in Birmingham. I happen to think that the ‘Ham is the South’s best-kept secret – and it is a WONDERFUL place to live – so I was thrilled to see a post that’s all about Birmingham on Southern Living‘s blog last week. It is a great resource, as is SL‘s Birmingham City Guide.

– Last night we drove up to a bluff that’s not far from our house, and we spent the next 30 or 45 minutes watching the sunset. It was glorious.


Oh, Birmingham. It’s no wonder that we’re so crazy about you.

Ben Rector’s new single is, well, beautiful. Which seems fitting considering the title. And right now, on iTunes, it’s free.

Happy Monday, y’all!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. I’m gonna try the recipe for potato beef casserole. Last night I made fajitas & by 8:30, my hubby said he was hungrier than ever and today was a repeat after I made a huge meal of roast, smashed potatoes, roasted carrots, deviled eggs. He must have a tape worm, as my Mom used to say. But I definitely need something to stick to his ribs.

  2. I just recently discovered your blog after hearing about your new book! My hubby and his family are from Tupelo, Mississippi and we usually go through Birmingham on our way when we drive, so I sort of feel a connection (not in a weird stalkerish kind of way though – ha!). Thanks for sharing and keeping us laughing!

  3. The potato and beef casserole is DELICIOUS. I made it several years ago before our first baby was born and froze it so we’d have enough to eat when I didn’t feel like cooking later and it was FABULOUS. I need to make it again soon!

  4. Love Ben Rector! Thanks for the head’s up! And I cannot wait to hear you at DotMom. I just saw last year’s pageant video over at Melanie’s. Priceless.

  5. Melissa says:

    So glad you are back blogging. Just watched the hilarious video of you and Melanie at DotMom conference, or should I say “Little Miss Lovely”. hahahhaaha! Thanks for the laughter! :-)

  6. I always love reading your blog, but now that I’ve read (and loved!!) your book, I love reading your blog even more! I feel like I “know” your family, which I know sounds slightly insane because I don’t even know you, but alas, ’tis true. I hope Martha enjoyed the “perfect portions” at the Western Sizzlin as much as she enjoyed the time with her grandson. :)

  7. I know how you feel about candy crush. I just started playing hay day on my phone. I am totally addicted. I keep checking to see if I have crops to harvest, cheikens to feed. It’s been 4 days and i think I am developing carpal tunnel syndrome!!!

  8. Hope y’all had fun!! Also, your book is wonderful. I feel like I’m reading about my family and Trent’s family all in one. We just love it!!!

  9. I love Ben Rector!! Absolutely amazing! And, I think I have been to that same overlook in Birmingham! Well, at least one pretty close to it! :)

  10. Jennifer says:

    Yes! I love your mom’s cookbook comments. She let me look through one once, and it was thoroughly entertaining. I remembered a “men love this” reference for a pumpkin dessert maybe? I loved that. But my favorite set of comments, hands down (or hands up, as I felt it was Praise the Lord worthy), were ones about a cake. I remember something like “cake won’t come out of pan,” “cake still stuck in pan,” and “cake, come out!” It tickled me to no end.

  11. I, too, am a recovering Candy Crushaholic. We should form a support group to help fend off those “friends” who keep sending us lives!! I’ve been wanting to make that casserole since Saturday when I saw it on Trisha Yearwood’s show. Anything with potatoes, gravy, and cheese is okay in my book! Lastly, I know what Will, Kate and baby special you are talking about – I’ve seen it twice!! Really, how do they expect us to get anything done if they keep repeating it?!?!? Girl – too bad we live so far apart! We could be serious friends!

  12. Pat Longfellow says:

    Just finished your book and LOVED it. Almost every page had me laughing out load. Please write another one soon!!

  13. Please instagram a pic of ol’ Vulcan for the Samford girl. I haven’t been to B’ham since 1990. Front view por favor.

  14. Lydialou says:

    I wanted to say that I LOVED your book. I am currently passing around my copy to others. My daughter-in-law currently has it. I guess I should encourage them to buy their own. Oops! That would benefit you more! :-) Thanks for saying you are walking away from Candy Crush Saga. I have been considering it because before I know it I have spent way too much time fiddling with moving around blocks of color. My neck gets so cranky when I play. And I began to think–Well, what did I do today? Spend time reaching new levels of Candy Crush without additional lives. ??? Sounds rather insignificant when I could have been riding my bike or watching the birds or reading another terrific book or playing the piano or baking bread. Hmmm. Life is too short-Farewell Candy Crush!

  15. I enjoyed reading this post and look forward to trying both recipes this fall!