Archives for September 2015

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 54


On this episode Melanie is live from Sacramento, so this is pretty much our fanciest podcast ever.

We talk about our road trips across the US, our theories about air travel, the relaxing properties of Candy Crush, our 40-something eyesight and its unwillingness to cooperate, the Mississippi State / Texas A&M football game, and the fashion courage required for an open-toe bootie.

We also discuss red lipstick, the intensity Melanie brings to any college game day experience, and a completely random assortment of various delights.

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):

Ritz Chips
Sahale Pomegranate Vanilla Cashew Mix
My Miracle Contact Lenses (they’re multifocal)
Mississippi State’s Pregame Video – Texas A&M
Good Bull Hunting (Mel’s favorite for A&M news)
KCRA – If you time it right, maybe you can watch Melanie’s interview live on Thursday morning!
TOMS Majorca Peep Toe Bootie
C.Style – one of Mel’s favorite fashion blogs

Enjoy, y’all!

dotMOM, dotMAMAW, & dotNOCKELS

Well, if you ask me – and to be clear, no one has, but I figure I’ll talk about it anyway – the 6th dotMOM conference was just a ton of fun. It was so good to be in Nashville again, and Brentwood Baptist was such a great host church. Plus, it is always a treat to meet and visit with people who, for all sorts of reasons, already feel like friends. So if you were one of those people this past weekend, thank you. You encouraged me more than you know.

Melanie and I had a fine time together – as we tend to do – and I’ll have you know that we did not eat mediocre Mexican food even once. Maybe we’re finally growing up.
We did, however, run into Target for some snacks around 10:45 Friday night, so we’re probably not ALL THE WAY THERE in terms of smart choices. However, we’d eaten supper around 5:00 and then spoke at 8:00-ish and by 10:45 nothing sounded better to me than a banana with some crunchy peanut butter on it. And then we got some tortilla chips and bean dip because why not.

There was a pretty significant change this year, though: at our Friday morning meeting, Melanie and I thought we might need some reading glasses in order to see the information on our dotMOM notecards that we use for announcements. Thankfully I had a fresh pair of Miracle Contact Lenses to rescue me, and Melanie managed beautifully by holding the cards a little lower than she normally does. Even still, it occurred to me that by the time Alex and Caroline finish high school, Mel and I are going to age out of dotMOM and have to start emceeing dotMAMAW. And while dotMAMAW isn’t an actual event, I really can’t imagine anything more delightful than a conference full of grandmothers. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

This would be a great place to put a picture of Melanie and me, by the way. But I didn’t take any pictures. So there’s that.

ALSO. I can’t even pretend to be low-key about the fact that Christy Nockels led worship this past weekend. Y’ALL. She was unbelievable. Her whole band (including her sweet husband) was unbelievable, too. Melanie and I never got over it. Every single session we were just blown away by how the Lord ministers through them. I always say that one reason Travis is such an incredible worship leader is because he’s been gifted with so much leadership but he never makes worship about him, and ditto that for Christy. She’s such a strong, humble leader – utterly sincere in everything she says, does, and sings. It’s a rare gift and such a blessing to sit under it. Can’t say enough about her. Except that I may have made a suggestion was that she and her hubby start a conference called dotNOCKELS. I’d be the first one to sign up and the last one to leave.

It was also a huge treat to hear the other speakers – Sherry Surratt, Karen Kingsbury, Rebekah Lyons – plus a whole bunch of breakout leaders who served the women at the conference so beautifully.

It’s fun to see people do what they were made to do, you know?

After everything was over Saturday afternoon, Melanie and I went back to our hotel to watch as much football as possible before we left for a friend’s birthday party later that night. Thankfully I was never really SUPER nervous during State’s game against Auburn – at least not after we intercepted on our own goal line during Auburn’s first possession. But have mercy it is nice (and rare) to get out of Jordan-Hare with a win, so I was thrilled for our ‘Dogs.

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And, needless to say, for Dak.

Maybe dotDAK is another conference possibility.

The State game wasn’t the only treat of the evening, because being with Melanie during the A&M / Arkansas game was a highlight of 2015 for me. I got so tickled. And while I have a feeling that she’ll tell more of this story on her blog, I just want to confirm that I have never – NEVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE EVER – seen any one human as excited as she was when the Aggies tied the game at the end of the 4th quarter. And please keep in mind that my sister and I have had some VERY loud, VERY high-energy moments watching our Bulldogs (the 2009 and 2013 Egg Bowls come to mind, along with our game against Auburn last year), but I honestly believe that Melanie could teach us some lessons. Because there’s game day enthusiasm, and then there’s Shankle-level enthusiasm. It comes with an extra degree of intensity and no small degree of shouting – and IT IS A TREASURE. Made me so happy.

So now I’m home. I pulled into Birmingham just in time to meet my people for lunch at Chuy’s, and we have had an afternoon so relaxing that I may write an ode to commemorate it. It’s been the best way to ease into the week that’s in front of us, and it’s given me a chance to catch my breath a little bit during my busiest stretch of fall speaking stuff. YAY FOR HOME. No matter where I go, it’s always my favorite place.

But if there’s ever a dotNOCKELS, it might run a close second.

And understandably so.

Laughter & Also A Significant Portion Of Joy

Book #3 has pretty much become an all-consuming mission at this point. That’s partly because it’s due in just a few months so TIME’S A WASTIN’, and it’s also because I really love what I’m writing about. So whenever I find a little window-o-time, I grab the laptop and try to crank out a few paragraphs. That’s not necessarily great for blogging, I know, but I’m enjoying working on this one so much – and I really, really hope y’all will like it.

I hope to have all sorts of fun details in the next couple of months. I just want to make sure that the title’s not going to change before I tell you what it is – and I want to be able to show you the cover, too.

So that’s the latest on that.

Also. A few minutes ago Melanie reminded me about Ryan Adams’ cover / reinterpretation of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album, so now I’m listening to his version of “Out of the Woods.”

I’ll be honest. It’s messing with me a little bit. Because I know all of the words, but I have no idea how (or when) to sing them.

Not that I can really sing while I write, you understand.

But I guess my head is trying to convince the melody that it needs to go in one direction, only Ryan Adams has already taken off towards the southern tip of Iceland.

Or something like that.

Anyway. The whole reason I started this post is because 1) Alex is at football practice and 2) there are several videos that I’ve been meaning to share because THEY MAKE ME HAPPY.

So, in no particular order, here they are.

1. It was a tough weekend to cheer for Alabama’s college football teams.

2. I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed some more.

3. Oh, 80’s. Sometimes I really miss you. And this video specifically makes me miss “Night Tracks” on WTBS, but that may be another memory for another time.

4. Last Thursday? I bet I watched this 14 times.

5. And finally, thanks to my friend Daphne for reminding me that tonight is a very special night indeed.

p.s. Those costumes are glorious.

p.p.s. Those trumpets are even better.

What’s Going On

1. Hazel is out of dog food.

2. We are practically out of people food – except that we do have some pickle relish, some oatmeal, and half a bag of gluten-free crackers. So YUM, YUM supper.

3. I have been trying to go to the grocery store for two days.

4. Clearly I have failed in my grocery-related efforts.

5. Tonight I’m planning to drop off Alex at football practice, go to the pet store, go to the grocery store, then drive home and throw the groceries in the kitchen floor before I collapse onto the couch and wait for those groceries to whip up a meal.

6. I’ll let you know how that works out.

7. I still haven’t watched Miss America.

8. It’s like I don’t even know myself anymore.


9. I went to the pet store and the grocery store, too.

10. I’m about to put a pork shoulder in the crock pot.

11. My people will be unfamiliar with how to respond to this thing called HOME-COOKED FOOD.


12. I really like Justin Bieber’s new song.

13. I have no idea what he’s saying, really, but it’s catchy as can be.

14. Tonight on the way to football practice we heard this song, and we decided it’s perfect for football games. I mean, I’m not saying that “Sandstorm” has run its course or anything, but this might be fun….

15. And then there was this sunset at practice.

16. So that’ll pretty much make your day right there.


17. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see a new TV show or seven.

18. And oh! Kansas! I so enjoyed my time in Kansas.

19. It was actually a little hillier that I expected and reminded me of the drive from Birmingham to Tupelo, for what it’s worth.

20. When I finally got there Thursday night, I was so elated to be off of that airplane that I basically talked non-stop from Manhattan to Salina (where the conference was).

21. We had flown through some storms, and at one point I felt like our plane was attached to a stick – like in old movies when they’d move a model airplane over a map to show where someone was traveling.

22. I like to think that I’m a fairly breezy traveler, but by the time we landed I was calculating how long it would take David to drive to Kansas and pick me up because NO MORE FLYING FOR ME.

23. Thankfully the flights home were far less eventful.

24. And now we’re living on the edge with a pantry full of groceries and a pork shoulder in the crockpot.

25. I may even make a fresh pitcher of Crystal Light lemonade.



Hey From B Terminal

I’m sitting at a gate in the Dallas airport right now, and there’s a little boy who looks to be about four years old who’s making me downright wistful about when Alex was that age.

Here’s the memory that keeps popping in my head.

Fight Song from boomama on Vimeo.

Pretty sure that was yesterday.


I’m flying into Manhattan, Kansas tonight, and I’m secretly hoping that I’ll be greeted by a very large K-State Wildcat in the Manhattan airport. I mean, I’m not hoping for a real-live mascot or anything like that because mascot costumes make me nervous (and obviously I would be terrified if there were any sort of actual wildcat), but I would at least like to see a mural of K-State traditions. Maybe walk through a tunnel that plays the fight song.

My wishes are very simple.

My flight from Birmingham was a rare treat because there were only about five of us on the last seven rows of the plane, and we were all so thrilled by the wide open spaces – a rare airline treat these days – that we were borderline giddy. The guy across from me said, “We could fit a whole band back here!” and then he sprawled out across both of the seats on his row and enjoyed a bag of Chex Mix. I was so enamored of the QUIET that I couldn’t even read; I just closed my eyes and soaked up the relative silence. We all had our electronics spread out on the neighboring seats and were making the most of our access to a second tray table and I am here to tell you that it was the adult equivalent of a free second scoop of ice cream. GLORIOUS, it was.

Here are some other exciting things that have happened so far:

– I ate in the airport Chili’s all by myself – even though eating in a restaurant by myself is one of my all-time least favorite things.
– I ordered a Sante Fe chicken salad. It was surprisingly tasty.
– There’s a beautiful sunset outside; I keep looking to my left so I can see its progress, and I think the girl next to me thinks I’m trying to read her computer screen.

As you can tell, my time in Dallas has been fraught with all manner of excitement and drama.

I’m sad to be missing high school football tomorrow night, but I can’t wait to see Kansas (will it be as flat as I expect? will there be wheat farms lining the roads?) and get to visit with the women at the conference where I’m speaking. Then, if all goes as planned, I’ll be home Saturday night in time to see the last little bit of the State / LSU game.

I think I speak for all Bulldogs when I say we would appreciate your prayers.

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Monday Night Check-In

The plan was to have a super low-key Labor Day weekend. And we got off to a pretty good start. Friday night we went out to eat, Saturday morning I ran a few errands before the first game of the day, and then Saturday afternoon I actually tried to get some writing done because State wasn’t playing until 9 and writing time has been a precious commodity since school started. However comma I never could get any momentum going with the words and the sentences, so I parked myself in front of the TV and flipped between the A&M game and the Bama game.

Because the thing about football season is that it’s glorious.

I was the only member of our little family who managed to stay awake for all of State’s game Saturday night, but it was probably 12:30 when I went to bed, so I was dragging Sunday morning. Not even the church / Chuy’s combo could put any pep in my step. David and Alex were planning to work in the yard Sunday afternoon, so I tried to write again, but I finally gave up and took a nap because THIS, THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE A BOOK.


Monday I made a quick trip to see some friends in Mississippi, and by the time I got back last night, I figured I’d catch up with my people and then go straight to sleep since I’d been on the road since early in the morning. But no – wouldn’t you know it – I suddenly had all manner of ideas for the chapter I was working on, so I ended up talking to my fellas and then writing for a couple of hours. I felt mighty relieved when I finally closed the laptop because FORWARD PROGRESS, YAY.

This week is actually when I start traveling again for speaking stuff (I haven’t done much traveling since spring), so I am headed to Kansas on Thursday and super excited about it because I’ve never been there before. I promise to steer clear of all Wizard of Oz / “Not in Kansas anymore” jokes, but I can’t promise that I won’t be tempted to pack either a gingham shirt or some sparkly shoes. Forgive me in advance, Kansas, for I can be very corny.

Anyway – I just wanted to check in and say hey. I haven’t really watched much TV, and I haven’t really tried any exciting new products, and I haven’t even listened to much music lately because I haven’t had a whole lot of extra time. But I have thought about y’all a bunch, and I hope your team won this past weekend because, well, winning is way more fun than losing.

Hope all of you are doing great!


p.s. I promise I’ll get a newsletter together real soon. :-)

(Look. I even did a new masthead so people could see the difference between the newsletter and the blog.)

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(But I just haven’t gotten around to putting the words on there.)

(This seems to be a recurring theme in my life right now.)

(Baby steps.)