Nice To Make Your Reacquaintance

I was driving through the parking lot in front of Nordstrom Rack Saturday morning when I saw my friend Anne Murray (her first name is a double name, just in case you’re thinking that I’m referring to the Canadian songstress from the 70s). I haven’t seen her since last spring, probably, so I was thrilled to have a chance to catch up. Anyway, I parked the car and we started talking and she said something like, “Is life always as happy as it seems on your blog? Because it seems like everything is going so well!”

My response?

“Oh, sister. Pay attention to the lulls.”

Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been in a bit of a lull where the blog is concerned.

And it’s not any one thing. But last week, I felt like six months of crazy caught up with me. It all started when I broke my ankle, and then we had the holidays, and then Mama was sick, and then the book came out, and then I started traveling for the book stuff, and then there were a few weeks when real life just got really, well, real. And then last weekend I drove to Monroe, Louisiana for a speaking thing (it was one of my favorite events ever, by the way – such a great group of women), and by the time I got home I had to turn right around and go to work. Then I realized that somewhere along the way I’d caught a cold. And maybe that is why, by late Tuesday afternoon, every little thing was making me cry.

Puppies? Tears.

Stories about babies? Sobs.

Working through my Bible study homework? Profuse weeping.

And then Wednesday was like 42 days in one.

But here’s what happened Thursday. We were under a winter storm warning, which means there was no school. I stayed home all day in my pajamas. I took cold medicine in broad daylight and didn’t have to worry about whether it would make me sleepy or not. I had a couple of conversations with friends that were just flat-out good for my soul. I made my fellas a big ole Southern lunch – complete with gravy. I sat on the couch with Hazel and tried to make Alex’s head fit underneath my chin when he’d stand next to me in the kitchen and I’d hug him (he is now up to my eyes – which means I only have a few more months of being taller than he is). I washed about nine loads of clothes and even folded them. I watched Bravo.

And by Friday, I felt human again. I felt rested even if I sounded like a frog. We had late start (thanks to ice), so the few hours at work flew by. Friday night was fun and easy, and then Saturday morning the boys set off on a little father-son adventure. I drove to Mississippi for a wedding, laughed my head off while I was there, and when I got home late Saturday afternoon, I was by myself in my house for the first time in forever.

It was delightful. Granted, I missed my people, but I caught up on TV and got sushi take-out and fell asleep at 9:30 oh praise the Lord.

The next couple of weeks are no joke in terms of some work-related deadlines, but I’m so grateful that I don’t feel like I’m running on fumes any more. At least once a year I do this – just run myself straight into the ground – so I don’t know why I’m surprised when I find myself in a spot where I’m just WORN SLAP OUT on every level. There’s something prideful in me that likes to think that I can do it all, but I can’t and I never could. I just throw a bunch of balls up in the air and try to tend to whichever one I catch first – and then I catch another one and another one and pretty soon I’m juggling.

And listen. Juggling can be fun. Entertaining, even. But after awhile it can get a little exhausting. I have a feeling that some of y’all can relate to that.

So. Thanks for being patient and gracious and etc.

And I didn’t really mean to over-explain like that. Because I actually had a few things I wanted to mention before I wrapped up this post.

– Kelly Minter’s What Love Is: The Letters of 1, 2, 3 John is the Bible study I’m working through right now, and IT. IS. WONDERFUL. I’ve been moving through it slowly – taking 2 or 3 days for every day of homework – and there is so much depth, even in smaller doses, that I still walk away with lots to think about. (BONUS: There are some incredible recipes tucked in between each week’s assignments. So delightful.)

– I have decided that this is my favorite of all the drugstore mascaras. I’m not saying that it’s the best of ALL the mascaras, but this one has become my go-to when I run in CVS or wherever. I am well aware that this whole mascara thing has become a bit of a mythical unicorn for me, but the Telescopic works great if you are blessed with fine, sparse lashes like I am (that was sarcasm) (my eyelashes are so very sad).

– My guess is that a whole bunch of you watched Jen and Brandon Hatmaker’s new HGTV show called Your Big Family Renovation. The new season premiered last week, and it was such a treat. I laughed, I cried, I wished someone would come over and gut my entire kitchen.

– I have honest-to-goodness had a bob since 1995. TWENTY YEARS. There was one time about seven years ago when I let my hair grow out almost to my shoulders, but ultimately I decided that was a bunch of craziness and I went back to my chin-level hair. I don’t have any plans to change my actual haircut, but I do want to learn to style my hair in more of a wavy bob. The mere thought of this fills me with fear and trepidation because it will require me to use a curling iron. Quite frankly I felt like I’d left my curling iron days far behind me when I stopped using one to style my bangs in the late 90s.

Anyway, my growing obsession with the wavy bob is why I find myself staring at the following more often than I’d care to admit.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 6.45.40 AM

Google Images will convince you to set some hair goals, y’all. And I welcome all wavy bob tips and suggestions.

I’ll be standing in the curling irons aisle at Ulta if you need me.

Hope y’all have a great Monday!

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  1. Bless your heart. I know what it’s like to be worn slap out. (Did you watch AI last year with Jessica from Slapout, Alabama?) I hope you’re rejuvenated for a long time. Have fun picking out a wavy bob hairstyle! You’ll rock it.

  2. You are a treasure and a delight to read. I (gasp) skipped church this Sunday and did some things that I enjoy and my inner legalist dealt with it. :) have a great Monday!

  3. Need to check out that Bible study!i

  4. I retired my curling iron and now use the Instyler. I love it. I have long, thick hair (probably much too long for my age bracket) and I can curl my hair in about ten minutes. It would take at least twice as long with a curling iron. Also, days at home in my jammies are my fave. Sadly, I live in Florida, so no winter storm days for me.

  5. I am in that funk. What is it that we do to ourselves? I need to just have a day where I can cry if I want to. It’s my party, after all.

    Here’s to Spring and all its rejuvenating glory! May you take Winter’s funk away with the melting snow!

    (Good grief. I’ve become a 20th century English poet. I need to go watch HGTV or something.)

  6. Oh, Sophie, I’ve missed you. Between you and Melanie, I may have to take out a second mortgage to keep trying all these mascara options, so your little break was good for my pocketbook. SO glad you are rested. I had a rare opportunity to come home from church and do nothing on Sunday – by which I mean, wash dishes, feed my people, wash six loads of laundry…but through it all I watched two episodes of Fixer Upper and Jen’s new show (which I loved!) and two really atrocious movies on HBO. I’ve decided that’s what the full moon will be for me from now on – the sign that it is time to be home and locked indoors for a day of rest, so I don’t turn into a werewolf.

  7. I missed you. If you and Melanie ever take a sabbatical together, I am not quite sure what I will do. Boo and Big, my very favorite bloggers. Bar none.

  8. I have felt the exact same way. In fact, last week was mighty stressful and by Friday night my husband and I sat down on the couch and the news was featuring an update on the store below and I just burst into tears. Just sobbed right there on the couch. And then I fell asleep at 6:30 pm and slept straight through till morning! I have mostly recovered over the weekend, but I decided to use PTO today too, just to make completely sure I’m fully relaxed! :-)

  9. LOVED reading about somebody elses “worn slap out” experience as I get them too. I LOVE being alone in my own home also. I think we are all ready for spring and summer and all the wonderful activities that they bring.

  10. This winter finally got to me a week ago. I was feeling a bit ragged too. But this week, Praise God Spring weather arrives! I can go outside! This will be a huge pick me up for me. So good to read you this morning Sophie. You make me smile.

  11. So glad you are feeling better!

    Ditto to the Hatmakers show. How bout you work your magic and get them here in Alabama to do some renovations–your house, then mine ☺️

  12. As a friend, who not only reads the lulls but also between the lines, I have been praying for you, for your strength and courage and whatnot (added that word, just for you!). As Joanne says, I love you, BIG! Margin in the moments…

  13. Victoria says:

    Thanks to the recommendation of a friend got A Little Salty To Cut The Sweet. I had heard your name before bun never really looked up your blog or read any of your books. I am now hooked!! The last six months have been KILLER hard with a very sick child and the docs have no idea why. One tough night when I couldn’t sleep I started readying Salty/Sweet on my kindle. I had tears streaming down my face and was pretty sure I would wake all three sleeping children from my hysterical laughter. So a big Thank You for the gift of laughter!
    Oh and use a curling wand. Not a curling iron that you have to clamp. You just wrap you hair around the wand. Sooo much easier and more forgiving.

  14. Jeannie S says:

    I was wondering where you were, now I know, worn slap out! Glad you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing all you do! Have a blessed week!

  15. We always notice the lulls…because we miss you. And I sooo relate to your personality. Just reading all that you had going on started to make me feel light-headed and all panicky. Gotta have my “home” time.

    Take care of yourself. :)

  16. Have you tried using a curling wand? It’s like a curling iron without the clamp. It gets so hot it comes with a small oven mitt to protect your hands. Anywho- try it on a lower temperature and see what it does for your hair. I had been using a curling iron for years until I discovered this and now I have those perfect beachy waves every time! And thanks for the mascara recommendation- I, too, am blessed with pitiful lashes.

  17. Michelle says:

    If you’re looking for waves and curls that stay like in the ones in your pics you need a 1 inch flat iron!!! My stylist just showed me how to do it and the curls/waves stay all day long and look fantastic! Just google a tutorial on flat iron waves and you’ll be all set.

  18. I am new to this blog and I LOVE it! I just recently read your book “A Little Salty To Cut The Sweet” and absolutely loved it. Your family reminds me of my own. I recommended the book to several people already. I happened to see that you have a blog and I’m really excited!

  19. Oh – I know just what you mean. Usually for me, it’s February after we’ve spent 30 days calving heifers at the ranch (and me working my regular full time job) and I just don’t have any more gas. I’ll start sobbing and my poor husband just can’t understand why….he thinks I’m mad, but I just need a nap. :)

    We all get that way. :) So glad you had a few days to rest and re-generate. Happy week to you!

  20. Kristen says:

    I think we can all relate to your worn-out feeling. Isn’t it amazing what one low-key day at home can do for a woman?! I, for one, was not too sad about all of the winter weather we had in February because I desperately needed a break. Being forced to stay home a few days was just the “excuse” our family needed!

  21. Oh I love me some Ulta!!! I just discovered it in January and I’ve been getting regular facials there. I used to fear a facial but I can’t deny the results, and the relaxation is a bonus.
    Regarding the curling iron thoughts… My hair has never held a curl from a curling iron. But a wand is a different story. It could be that it gets hotter than my old curling irons did or it could be the design of it. Regardless, i love how quick it is to curl my (long) hair and it lasts all day without even using hairspray (although I do use a texturizing salt spray). Once you get past the early part where you burn yourself it’s very easy to use – I don’t even use the glove anymore! Good luck and share photos with us when you figure out your new style!

  22. Well, I have nothing better to do on a Monday morning than talk about mascara.Actually, I have a million other things to do but talkin’ mascaraa is much more fun. After years of of being addicted to Maybelline pink tube with green top mascara I followed your advice and switched to Rimmel. Love it, but okay, I’ll give the Loreal one a try. Now for my other burning question. Which John Frieda hairspray do you love? Firm, mega firm? You know, when we (women) are exhausting ourselves slaying life’s daily dragons we need the mental distractions of researching mascara and hairspray. Don’t even get me started on finding the perfect lip color.

  23. I cannot say enough good things about the hair tutorials on the Small Things Blog. She makes me feel like I am not a hair idiot. Look at the older tutorials when her hair was shorter.

  24. girl, I can SO relate to hitting that WALL! Dang, it hurts. But glad you’ve caught up to yourself and your schedule. And Kelly’s new study! Oh my SOUL! I did it myself and just finished leading a group of women in it — I loved it. So good for me — and so needed in my life.

  25. Sarah Marie says:

    The Chi flat iron is THE way to go for the wavy bob. It’s by far the easiest and least time consuming. There are tons of tutorials online. Good luck!

  26. Sorry to hear you’re going through a rough patch, but it will get better! Also, I have some tips to achieving wavy hair perfection (and who doesn’t feel better with a sassy new hairdo??). You might be surprised to know that you can use your straightener for waves! I used to do it all the time but as my hair grew out it got more cumbersome. I would recommend searching Pinterest for a tutorial. Another tip is that waves are typically achieved by a curling wand. I don’t know how they make such a difference from a curling iron, BUT THEY DO. Here’s a link to my favorite (remington 1inch from Walgreens, it was $30 and I’ve had it for 2+ years!)—1.5-inch-wide/ID=prod6191580-product Hope this helps!! :)

  27. Oh Sophie – I am going to be the odd one out here – I hate that choppy, raggedy, uneven wavy bob on anyone – it just makes me want to run and get a hairbrush and brush their hair and make it look better! Just so unattractive on everyone in these pics…..looks like they hacked it off by themselves and no doubt they paid big bucks to look that bad! I know, I know, it is the style now…..but wow – I just think it looks awful on everyone.

    Could you tell us the name of the Bible Study you are referring to in this blog? Sounds like something I need and could possibly use to lead a Small Group.

    Glad to hear you have recharged your batteries and are now back with us full time! Keep it up – I so look forward to your blogs!

    • Cindie, you are not the only odd one!!! I too dislike those raggedy bobs. You said just what I wanted to say. bravo!

      And aren’t those curling wands for longer hair?? I can’t see trying to wind shorter hair around the barrel successfully. I would try one out at the hair salon first before I bought one to make sure my hair could wind around it.

      Here’s to the coming of Spring Break and another refresher time.

  28. Those pics make me want to cut my hair! I have had long hair for most of my 37 years and I am hopeless at styling. Like, I can t for the life of me do the round brush/hair dryer routine. Hopeless. I will be one of those old ladies with the grey Little House on the Prairie braids.

  29. Sophie, I too love Kelly Minter’s new study on 1,2,3 John. We just completed it at our church and i thought it was great! Loved Jen Hatmaker’s new reno show! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  30. Kasey Khoobiar says:

    I agree with Robin – the Small Things Blog has great tutorials on how to curl shorter hair!

  31. Jennie Lynch says:

    This might work for you. Saw it on the internet a few days ago, but there are several tutorials on YouTube. Good luck.

  32. Oh, Sophie!
    I just had one of those lulls a few weeks ago and I blogged all about my heaviness and this and that. And I wrote how my Bible reading, close friends, and family is what got me through. That real and raw honesty is what we all can relate to…thank you for being so open and lovable!
    The crazy thing is that just as I got through that little ordeal, our oldest son decided it was time to turn ten (TEN!! WHERE IS TIME GOING?!) and that brought forth a whole bunch of new emotions. So, yesterday, between the time change and how that messes with one’s internal clock and two birthday parties over the weekend and having a son who is now in the double digits…I was a basket of pretty emotions as I blogged about our weekend :) hahaha
    But big hugs to you from Iowa and hang in there! We all love you to pieces! Now…press on and find that magical unicorn who can create beachy waves like no other! (and then please send that unicorn to me so I can have those beautiful curls!)

  33. I LOVE Jen & Brandon Hatmaker’s new show!

    If you figure out the whole wavy bob thing (I just accidentally typed “blob” which is what my hair would look like if I tried the waves on my own) be sure to let us know! You’ll be providing a great service to many of us. :)

  34. Strawberryrose says:

    Sometimes, we just need to rest. During February, we all traded sickness in my family. I hated being sick, but it was nice hanging out on the couch for a while. I lost my voice for almost a week. It was crazy!

    Those hair styles look adorable! Go for it! I have been going back and forth with the bangs/no bangs dilemma. I had no bangs, then sideswept bangs, no bangs, then longer sideswept bangs. I really wanted to try bangs like Zooey Deschanel, but was afraid it wouldn’t look right. So I bought clip in bangs to try. I put the bangs in, then laughed. I looked so much like my sister (who has bangs). I walked in to where my family was and they all thought I had just cut my hair. I think I look better with no bangs, but changing hairstyles was fun!

  35. I almost picked up Kelly Minter’s study at Lifeway today. Maybe I’ll go back for it. Are you doing it with a group or independently? I put it back because I was thinking it might be best in a group study and I wanted something I can do on my own for now.

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