It’s why I cry every time I hear “In Your Eyes”

I need to make a confession.

I’m just not that into the Winter Olympics.

I think it’s because I live in South Texas and, well, not a lot of snowboarding or moguls to be found around here. And I don’t even understand the luge. At what point in your life do you willingly get in a small tube and decide to hurl yourself down a large apparatus at the speed of light?

My answer to that question is NEVER.

Frankly, the last Winter Olympics I truly enjoyed was in 1994 because you had the whole Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding thing and it was more akin to a Lifetime movie than a sporting event. Not to mention that’s when Dan Jansen won the gold medal in speed skating and he took a victory lap around the rink with his baby girl while they played “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. And now I’m crying just thinking about it because it was just that good.

I loved the ’94 Winter Olympics so much that I even chose to watch them instead of going out with my friends to Hurricane Harry’s and there was no greater sacrifice at that time in my life than to miss a night out.

Maybe I’m just out of the loop this time. I don’t know the human interest stories and who I’m supposed to be cheering for and I tried to watch but Bob Costas has pink eye and I’m afraid I might catch it through the television and so that’s the end of that.

Plus, those sweaters Ralph Lauren designed for the U.S. team are a travesty. Somewhere people all over the world who own Christmas-themed sweaters featuring cats wearing Santa hats feel validated.

And who knows? Maybe at some point in the next week or so I’ll get sucked in because I’ll hear some story about a member of the curling team who thought he’d never use his broom again, but he persevered and, BOOM, I’ll be on my couch crying like a baby and lamenting that I could have had a curling career if only I’d learned how to properly use a broom. Or cared about curling. Or even knew that it existed prior to 2002.

But I’m also at a juncture in my life where I need to reserve my emotional energy because Caroline broke some news to me over the weekend that’s going to require all my strength. She wants to get her hair cut to shoulder length.

I mean we haven’t even finished growing out the bangs I begged her not to cut in August and now she’s wanting to get six inches cut off her hair. Which, FINE. It’s her hair. But I’m the one who ends up needing a Masters in Hair Psychology every morning before school as she laments its current state.

In other news, we had a nice weekend. I’m not totally sure that I’m caught up on my sleep. By which I mean that I am absolutely not caught up on my sleep. I blame most of this solely on the train conductor who decided to drive through town at 1 a.m. Saturday morning blowing his train horn as if his life depended on it.

On Saturday morning we went to Caroline’s basketball game. Her team won and after a crazy week it was so nice to just sit there and watch her play. Every time I watch her I think of Shakespeare’s quote “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”


And then she left with P that afternoon to go to the ranch. I spent some time running errands and cleaning the house and paying bills and all the things I’d completely neglected in the midst of book launch week last week and got a text from P that read, “She’s wiped out.”


Yep. Sound asleep in the backseat on the way to the ranch.

It’s so out of character for her to fall asleep in the middle of the day. Which was why I was even more disturbed later when P texted me this picture.


It’s Caroline sound asleep. On the ground. While she was hunting.

On the upside, her camo appears to be working beautifully. You can hardly see her.

Sure enough, she woke up Sunday morning with a low grade fever and just generally not feeling well. Which totally fits because I’m leaving town on Tuesday and this seems to be the way these things have happened this year. It does wonders for my guilt complex. But I just tell myself that if I ever win a speed skating contest I am totally going to carry her while I skate a victory lap around the ice rink and Peter Gabriel sings “In Your Eyes”.

So tomorrow morning she’s staying home from school and I’m running to do a quick talk for a MOPs group while she stays home with P and then we’ll probably be at the Med Clinic by noon because I have a good suspicion that it’s strep.

And then maybe we’ll spend the rest of the afternoon watching the luge competition.

But probably not unless Nancy Kerrigan is one of the competitors.

A few quick Antelope in the Living Room notes:

Tomorrow I’m going to announce a fun contest for Antelope. You don’t want to miss it.

I’m going to be in Virginia Beach at Princess Anne Country Club this Wednesday, February 12. You can find out more here.

I’m going to be signing books from 10:30 – noon this Saturday, February 15 at Books-A-Million at Katy Mills in Katy, TX.

On Friday, February 28th, I’m speaking at Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX. You can find out more details here.

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  1. Susan says

    I recommend Biathlon – it’s got cross country skiing in beautiful snowy woods AND shooting targets. I personally love it and am a big fan of the Norwegians.

    Amen about the sweaters – Ralph Lauren, how could you?

    As for the horn blowing train, it was likely due to something on the track. That’s what I have been told anyway. So next time you hear that, say a prayer.

    hope it’s nothing serious for your little gal. Bless her heart.

  2. Cindy says

    Hurtling down the ice mountain in a tube is called “bobsledding.” Luge is when you use an ironing board!

  3. Pam says

    In the ice skating category…….a former pairs Silver Medal winner lives and teaches in Katy Texas…….Kitty Carruthers. She and her brother Peter won in….I think 1984

  4. says

    Nothing like a sick kid to kick mother guilt into high gear:( I finished your book this weekend, and can I say–tears. I laughed so hard it brought me to tears, multiple times. My kids thought I was insane, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But this time, just insanely entertained. Loved it!

  5. JC says

    Not watching the ice skating? You are missing all the drama, not to mention enough questionable fashion for two or three posts. Spandex and glitter rule. Someone lost 1/10th point the other night for a feather on her costume falling to the ice. It is must see sports TV.

  6. nanette lynch says

    I love when you post pics of Caroline hunting! Brings back GREAT memories when I was a kid, on my horse, with my gun! The only rule we had was not to shoot each other and be back home by supper!!! My own “city” children who have never shot a gun/rode a horse, can not believe I was such a redneck!
    Have a great week!

  7. Amy says

    Do you all have Netflix streaming? “30 for 30 – The Price of Gold” is a new documentary about the Tonya Harding debacle – the whole family sat around glued to it this weekend after my brother recommended it. Then we watched “Mitt” which was very good, too. I hope Caroline feels better soon!! :)

  8. says

    For some unknown reason, I completely forgot to check the mail on Thursday for my book shipment. Then we had nothing NOTHING scheduled for Saturday for the first time in a sweet forever, so I hightailed it to the mailbox and grabbed my book, bills be darned. Read it cover to cover in a day. Melanie, it’s just so good. I laughed out loud so many times and thanked God that we aren’t the only couple that goes through similar situations. My husband is an engineer and measures everything to the precise 1/12 inch whereby I am cool with haphazardly being “close”. Needless to say, I’ve been banned from hanging pictures in any house we live in, ever since we had uneven pictures on the wall in our 400 sq ft newlywed apartment. Who really cares anyway? It was 400 sq feet. There was barely enough room to move, much less pay attention to a little bit of crooked :) Anyway, fantastic job on the book – I can’t wait to share with my girlfriends.

  9. Karen Beymer says

    Praying Caroline gets her. “Healthy” back soon, that it’s nothing a good antibiotic can’t kick.
    Safe travel.

  10. says

    It is the universal law of motherhood that kids only get sick when Mom has to be away. Ugh! Hope it passes quickly, and look at it as an excuse for her to have some special Daddy time;-) The Shakespeare quote sums up my 16 year old, too. It is my absolute favorite! (At 16 she is only 4′-9″ but fearless. Your stories of Caroline almost always remind me of my sweet thing!)

    Hope your week is fabulous- and all comes together perfectly.

  11. says

    We are fortunate enough to be able to watch Curling every night, on late night Canadian television here in Detroit. It can be strangely riveting when you have insomnia :-)

    P.S. read your new book this weekend – loved it and was laughing out loud often!

  12. says

    I’d say you perfectly echo my sentiments about these Olympics – though my two daughters are trying to draw me into the figure skating events with their enthusiasm! Hope your daughter is feeling better soon!!

  13. says

    How can anyone look so sweet in camo? =0)

    You captured my own thoughts regarding just about every sport yesterday except the ice dancing. That one I kind of get. Although how you reach the place where you can be thrown in the air and land on ice standing upright still baffles me. Hope Caroline is 100% improved before you leave!

  14. Jill says

    My 13 year old and a group of her friends LOVE the sweaters. They were even looking on the olympic website to see how much they cost. I think Ralph Lauren just found some sweaters from the 80’s in a warehouse , took a look and said “Ehh these will do”.

  15. OlarmyMel says

    Loved that you mentioned Harry’s! Can’t think of that place without remembering the DJ, “Gecko” and the song “Neon Moon”! Ah…memories!

  16. Nicole says

    I understand the ‘Masters in Hair Psychology’ but this is for my tween SON who is clearly going to be a METROsexual. Too bad he has double reverse cowlicks that turn into demon twins 2 weeks after a haircut. Loving C’s pumped up basketball kicks ~ hope she feels better soon. P.S. The RL sweaters are quite offensive and not flattering for Shawn White’s coloring whatsoever.

  17. Susan B says

    Same here, can’t get into the Winter Olympics. Catching up on Downton Abbey instead…One thing I just noticed? My. Oh. My! Caroline has some awesome eyelashes! Total envy! Beautiful girl! Hope she feels better soon…

  18. Paige says

    I, too, am so sad about the sweaters that the Olympics have been hard to watch. I would totally be willing to win one of those silver puffy coats, though, and I will probably need it this week in Atlanta. Should we pray that the Virginia trip gets cancelled? It’s not looking good for your travel plans.

  19. says

    The sweaters, oh, the sweaters! I sat, red-faced and stunned from my perch on the couch. It almost felt like the knitted disasters paired with the marshmallow pants dumbed-down our svelte athletes somehow. Like they were Christmas carolers lip-synching carols from a cassette boombox at a nursing home. After Christmas. With Mr. Rogers leading the tenors. The only pieces missing were sock puppet gloves.

  20. Julie R says

    Instead of watching the Olympics this weekend, I read your new book which arrived Friday. It’s great! I found myself reading sections of it aloud to my husband, then realized that he really wasn’t that interested (no offense) so I stopped that and just laughed to myself through the rest of it.

  21. Mary Len says

    I am not into the Olympics either and I think it is because there are so many other excellent television options to choose from–like Downton Abbey and The Real Housewives of Atlanta. (which has totally taken drama to a whole new level–as in “the ditches”)

  22. tammy says

    We LOVE the Winter Olympics, and let me assure you the sweaters were even more of a travesty when contrasted with the drop-deal gorgeous coats the Russians wore. A beautiful line, trimmed in fur, and crazy elegant. And the Canadians were lovely as well. They almost always have killer outfits, while we parade around for all the world to see in rodeo clown rejects. I have yet to figure out how a designer who mostly does classic looks consistently puts our athletes in stuff you KNOW he wouldn’t be caught dead in.

    But we have been glued to the TV. I could watch the skating all day, every day and I also love all the skiing, especially the downhill, and the ski jumping. Love all the snowboard, X–Games style stuff they have added lately, in part I think because the kids are always so darn happy and Spicoli-like. Dude. We watch it all,

    But I swear, if Vladimir Putin doesn’t wrassle a bear at some point or come charging into the Closing Ceremonies bare-chested on a horse with the head of a terrorist hanging off his belt, I am going to be sadly disappointed.

  23. Carma says

    Where have I been? Why have I not ever heard the name Melanie Shankle? Or Big Mama blog? Well, thanks to Ann Voskamp this is where I end up. And thanks to Ann also, I just spent $40.00 unplanned dollars at Amazon buying your books and one more by Sophie Hudson. And some notecards. The Olympics aren’t on my radar screen either.

  24. 4sammy says

    Oh my gosh! I remember watching the Tonya Harding / Nancy Kerrigan drama from my room in College Station. I probably went to Hurricane Harry’s afterwards, though. Does this make us best friends that never met? Or maybe I’m just a stalker.

  25. Jennifer says

    I watched your interview on Edie’s blog last week and went out Saturday to buy your book which I read in one weekend and quickly passed to my best friend Kelley. Thank you so much, it was perfect timing for just over 20 Years of marriage and sometimes you really get on my nerves kind of way. It made realize how good we have it and stop the nit picking. Thank you! I’m going to start following your blog too. Best of luck with book sales, I won’t pass it down anymore, I’ll tell the rest of my friends to go buy their own copy.


  26. Tracie says

    Just wanted to tell you thank you, just like many others here have done, for your book. Just finished it, and much like Sparkly Green Earrings, I cried the whole way through the last chapter. So beautifully summed up!

    I read my husband the possum story aloud because it was And he interrupted me and said, “They aren’t rodents, they are marsupials.” yeah, he reminds me a little bit of P, so that made me laugh even harder.

    Your thoughts on marriage and life really brought somethings into focus for me, and I thank you for that. Hope your daughter gets better soon and you have a great trip.

  27. Julie D says

    Loved your “quick talk” at our Mops meeting this morning. Thank you so much for coming out even with a sick sweetie at home. I think it was exactly what many of us needed to hear and it was great to laugh too! So fun! Thanks for being real!

  28. Andrea says

    So excited you are speaking at Grace Bible Church, me and my two friends got tickets the day I heard about it. Can’t wait!!!

  29. Maria D. says

    Great post and I hope Caroline feels better soon! But like everyone has pointed out – she gets some extra daddy time:)… for the Winter Olympics – I’ve tried to get into it but yeah…just not really grabbing me this time around…as for the fashions – I loved how many of the other teams were dressed and yeah…ours don’t look sophisticated at all…while I guess we should let the Russians shine (it is in their country after all) – we could at least have looked better than what we did (and as much as I personally love Shaun White – I don’t think the team is going to be able to get an outfit to not clash with his hair). My parents are glued to watching the luge right now…I keep wondering when someone is going to fall off and get run over by their own team.

  30. says

    In your eyes is one of my all time favourite songs!! I can’t watch any Olympic coverage without a box of kleenex beside me. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t help but bawl everytime a Canadian wins a medal! LOVE IT!!

  31. Lori H says

    So not into the Olympics this year. I don’t think we are alone! I can’t believe you will be so close to Richmond, VA, and aren’t coming here! Ack, Va Beach is only 2 hours away but I can’t get away. Darn! Anyway, we are supposed to get a ton of snow Wednesday so you probably don’t want to be any closer to us :)

  32. Kelley says

    Hope C gets better soon!
    And totally loved Antelope!!! Saw my hubs “fast actin’ Tinactin” on the nightstand last night for his feet and I just looked at him and said “Old Love”…we’ve been together 14 years and married 11. ….old love. :)

  33. Tara G. says

    Curling is as exciting as chess in my book. Maybe I’m just bitter that I spent so much time on my backside.

  34. Tami Sirmon says

    totally laughed out loud at the Bob costas pink eye comment…I was wondering if anyone else thought it odd! I guess the show must go on!

  35. Andrea says

    Oh Peter Gabriel, how I love him so. He’s right up there with the Winter Olympics in my life’s loves. David Letterman’s mom in Lillehammer made my ’94 Olympics. Get ye on the couch and find a sport. There is sure to be drama that induces emotion. Watch your US hockey team. Their GM got a puck in the eye and is currently in the hospital. And the women’s team was recently on the Today Show but unfortunately NBC chose to show highlight clips of Team Canada beating them. Not once, but multiple times. And the figure skating has got some intense rivalries between the US dance team and the Canadian dance team. Pay attention to how Russia does in hockey. IF they lose, we have no idea what Putin has planned….
    But mostly, there is so much comedy for the taking in the studios covering the games. Keep us posted on the hilarity and keep us laughing!

  36. Nancy says

    I heard you on the Chris Fabry program the other day and it totally took me by surprise. You are a delight!

  37. Lesa P says

    I just finished your new book. My husband said he hasn’t heard me laugh like that for a long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your life. I was crying from laughing so hard. My husband and I have the same kind of relationship. We’ve been married for 32 years. We live in a very rural area and hunt and fish (well he does). My dad has reloaded his own ammo my whole life. I found out about your book while following The Pioneer Woman. You are both amazing women that bring joy to my life by reading your blogs! Thank you again for the great laugh! When will book three be coming out? 😉

  38. says

    Don’t rush to get the hair cut. My 11-year old daughter came home after the first week of school and said she wanted to cut it because all her friends (with short hair I might add) thought it would look great. I didn’t say anything about all short-haired girls want other girls to have short hair – nope. I remained silent. She changed her mind after dinner. Crisis averted!

  39. becky says

    Let her cut her hair if she wants to. She is old enough to take care of her hair. A friend commented when our daughters were in 5th grade that she still did her daughters hair. When I said I didn’t, she said “What if it doesn’t look good?” I said–“If she thinks it looks good, so do I” I was totally done trying to make her pony tail smooth and perfect. Made mornings so much easier.

  40. Jennifer says

    I don’t know if this helps, but my 8 yr old daughter has grown her hair out quite long now (she’s aiming for waist length, Lord help me!) from that cute little toddler bob that everyone had a few years ago. We made a rule that, aside from trims, if she gets her hair cut, she has to cut off enough to donate it. (10″ for Locks if Love, but only 8″ for Pantene Beautiful Locks). It gets a little risky! If Caroline wants to cut off 6″, that would mean either she’d need to cut off at least two more inches for a chin length bob, or (this is what always works for my daughter) grow it out two more inches so that when she cuts it, she can donate it *and* it will be the length she wants. This is the rule I follow also and of course is completely different than how I would handle my daughter wanting to maintain a look. It seems like such a waste to be so close to a donatable amount, but I know sometimes when you want a haircut you just need that hair gone right this second!!! You’re two years ahead of me with Caroline. I love getting a glimpse of what’s in my future!!! Good luck!

  41. Leslie says

    Melanie, you will find me popping up on several comments sections as I just recently discovered you! You’re famous! I mean really, you’re amazing! I bought your book yesterday and can’t stop reading it! Funny story, on the train ride home yesterday I had to put it away, as I kept laughing like a true “weirdo” on the train. Quickly came home and read a few pages to my husband, who smiled and said, she’s your kinda gal! Can’t stop telling my friends all about your Books/Blog!

    P.S. I was at the dentist last week, and the hygienist kept rambling on and on about the winter Olympics to which i responded “unapologetically I am NOT watching the Winter Olympics.” After uttering those words I soon realized that may not have been the smartest thing to say, you know as she held a SHARP OBJECT in my mouth! LOL I must of offended her because she listed reasons why I should be interested in watching. HISTORY-SHIMSTORY. I’ll watch the highlights on the evening news bud!

    Thanks, -Leslie