Big Mama Blog

Sometimes I miss the rotary dial

Yesterday afternoon I was talking on the phone to Gulley. We were just about to hang up when my phone cut me off and that’s when I noticed it had the spinning circle of death on the screen. Which really came as no surprise considering that my two-year-old iPhone has gotten to the point where it holds a charge for all of thirty minutes.

So I plugged it into the wall to charge, but when I came back thirty minutes later it still had the spinning circle thing. I tried to turn it off and it didn’t work. I hooked it up to my computer. Nothing.

This is a little embarrassing to admit but I began to wonder how long I was going to be without my phone. I felt like I’d just lost something very important like my favorite pair of jeans or one of my arms. And I thought about how these things never happened back in the day when phones were attached to a wall and had that twisty cord that you could twirl around and around and around your finger while you talked to that cute boy from Pre-Algebra who finally called you.

I had no idea what to do now that all my communication with the outside world had been cut off and so I figured I’d call Gulley to ask her how to fix my phone. But first I had to plug in our home phone. We unplugged it about a month ago because no one ever calls us on our home phone except solicitors or “sailors” as Caroline calls them since they are just trying to “sail” you something. (No, I don’t have a strong accent. Why do you ask?)

Anyway, I wasn’t going to call Gulley because she has some sort of expertise in the field of iPhones. In fact, she carried a plain old flip phone until some time last year when it finally just broke in two pieces. It’s just my natural response to call Gulley anytime any sort of crisis arises. And while she is wonderful at giving all sorts of life advice on many subjects, she was no help at all in this situation. Although she did ask her husband and he suggested I take out my SIM card and put it back in.

The only problem is that solution made the assumption I know how to take out the SIM card in the first place.

I looked for some place to take out a battery or something and was about to resort to my standard, highly technical method of fixing things and just bang it really hard on the countertop. And, if that didn’t work, maybe throw it through the window.

Because all I knew is that there was no way I was going to walk into the Apple store and go up to the Genius Bar with my sad little generation ANCIENT iPhone 3. Oh the mockery and sneering that would ensue. And that would just be from my fellow customers.

I’m still not over the humiliation of going into the AT&T store last spring to buy a new case for my phone and being told in a stage whisper, “We keep the cases for the iPhone 3s in the back.” They obviously did not want to taint their showroom with any type of antiquated cases from 2010.

Ultimately, I recalled that Gulley suggested I might want to check the Google and see if I could find a help site. So I googled “Walking in shame that I still have an iPhone 3 and now it won’t turn off or die. Help me.”

And this is why the internet is such a handy, modern device. I immediately found a message board where various folks were mocking some poor soul who stored a lot of photos on his iPhone only to have it die and lose all his pictures, but in the midst of all that mockery I saw that someone suggested he put his phone in recovery mode by pressing the HOME button and POWER button simultaneously and holding them for fifteen seconds.

I tried it. And TA-DA it worked.

I realize this is probably the most uninteresting thing you’ve read in a long time, but it’s the most interesting thing that happened to me yesterday so imagine how I feel.

And now I’m off to play Words with Friends because you don’t know what you’ve got until you think it might be gone.


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Third grade


Seriously? Third grade.

How did that happen? Especially considering she was born two days ago. And I’ll blink and it will be time for Christmas vacation and then she’ll be packing up her car and heading out for college.

Oh I know. I’m being dramatic. But not nearly as dramatic as I was last year. My word, I went back and read last year’s post about second grade and wanted to tell myself to REIGN IT IN LUCY. However, I do think all my initial instincts about last year proved to be mostly right. Second grade will not go down as my favorite.

(Smiling is my favorite.)

(That has nothing to do with anything but I had an Elf moment and went with it.)

(Also, P is watching some show called The Blue Planet about what lives in the Deep Sea and I’m having a hard time keeping a train of thought going for all the freaky things that live way down deep in the ocean.)

(It has solidified my goal to never scuba dive. It’s just asking to be a part of the food chain.)

Okay, third grade. I believe I mentioned that we found out at the end of last year that Caroline was going to get to have her first grade teacher again this year. And that brought much joy and happiness to our house because she is the kind of teacher that you wish could just follow your child all the way through twelfth grade. So I had absolutely no anxiety about this new school year. Which is remarkable considering I can work up some anxiety about which kind of bread to buy at the grocery store.

And Caroline was beside herself with excitement to begin another year with Miss C. In fact, while I made her pose for an interminable number of pictures yesterday morning, I asked “Are you ready for third grade?”

And in response she struck this pose and yelled “GIDDY UP!”

I believe that means yes.

P and I walked into school, kissed her goodbye, took a few more pictures and walked away with nary a tear. Because it all felt great. Until I realized it was time to pay the summer piper and Couch to 5K some of the bean and cheese nachos I ate for the last three months at the pool.

But then I met Gulley and we did some shopping and ate some lunch and discussed multiple topics of conversation without one single interruption. It’s amazing the ground we can cover when not refereeing arguments or doling out snacks. After lunch I made a quick trip to HEB and engaged in a sport I like to call HOW FAST CAN YOU GET HOME BEFORE THE MILK GOES BAD BECAUSE IT’S SO HOT THAT STANDING UNDER A HAIR DRYER MIGHT SEEM REFRESHING?

Finally it was time to go pick up Caroline from school. She bounced out with her arms around two of her girlfriends and declared it “THE BEST FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL EVER” especially because they “hardly had to write AT ALL today”. Yes, that’s the best measure of a good day.

We met some friends for ice cream, then came home and I spent the rest of the afternoon watching her tear around our house with a degree of energy that would make a tasmanian devil on amphetamines wish he had that kind of zeal for life. At one point she actually stood on top of the dining room table and I had to ask if she’d lost her mind.

She told me she couldn’t help it but she was just SO EXCITED about school.

And that makes me happy.

But I’m still going to need her to get off the dining room table.

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What Women Fear

Okay, so today is a different kind of post. And y’all know I rarely promote anything here unless it’s something I feel strongly about. Which explains Fashion Friday because I feel strongly about cute tops and jeans that fit well and a good wedge heel. Amen.

Several years ago someone told me about a blog called Bring the Rain written by Angie Smith. At the time I’d never heard of Angie, but I read a post she’d written called The Past and The Pitcher and thought it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever read. I was hooked.

Over time we’ve exchanged emails and I’ve walked her through some questions she had regarding tying scarves and then I finally got to spend some time with her in person this past June and, oh my word y’all, she is one of my favorite people ever. In fact, if I ever move to Nashville (which will never happen because P won’t leave Texas EVER.) Angie would be one of the reasons why.

Some may call that stalking. I prefer to use the term friendship.

I just think the world of her as a writer, a mother, a friend, and someone who makes me laugh until I hyperventilate. So I’d be excited about her new book no matter what the subject. However, the title of her new book is What Women Fear: Walking in Faith That Transforms and I don’t know about you but I tend to struggle with the fear.

In fact, I can go to a place of fear in sixteen seconds. It’s true. How else do you explain that I’ve diagnosed myself with over eighteen fatal illnesses courtesy of WebMd over the last four months? By the way, P has forbidden me from googling any more medical symptoms. There’s plenty of crazy here already thank you.

On Saturday I had lunch with a friend. She told me she hadn’t slept well the night before because she’d watched a movie that freaked her out and she spent the rest of the night envisioning all these terrible scenarios that could happen. And it really hit me, I think all women struggle with fear.

(If you don’t, please email me and tell me what it feels like.)

And that’s why I adore Angie’s book. It put into words so many of the things I struggle with and then discusses how to deal with those fears in an effective way. Because apparently getting on Google is not the answer.

Here’s an excerpt from the book description:

“Rather than suggesting that those who truly love the Lord would never fear, Angie blends her own experiences with those of men and women from throughout Scripture to help us start dealing more effectively with these true, human emotions. Whether it’s a constant ‘What if?’, a nagging fear of abandonment or betrayal, fear of your own or someone else’s death, fear of trusting God’s plan, or even the fear that God’s existence is a lie, Angie will walk you through stories of others who have simultaneously loved God and struggled with fear.”

Doesn’t that make you want to read this book? Then I have some GOOD NEWS. It officially releases on September 1, but here’s how you can pre-order a copy for 50% off today.

Barnes and Noble has really supported Angie both for I Will Carry You as well as with What Women Fear and are doing an exciting one day online pre-sale today, Monday, August 22. If you pre-order a copy today at you will get 50% off, so the book is only $7.49. In addition, if you order the book today at Barnes and Noble online, email your order confirmation to to be entered to win one of two prize packs of 10 books from B&H Women as well as a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.

I also thought you might like to watch this video promo.

Okay, what are you waiting for? Go pre-order your copy for 50% off. That’s only $7.49.

And you can’t even get two gallons of gas for that price.

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Fashion Friday: Edition I’ll finish fall trends next week

I know. I said I’d discuss the remaining five trends for fall this week and now here I am not discussing them. In my defense I have been very busy reading SEC and A&M message boards to find out the latest on the athletic conference situation. In addition, I’ve also had to spend a lot of time helping Caroline figure out what she’s going to wear for the first day of school on Monday.

May heaven help me.

At dinner last night she actually said to me, “Honey, I’m wearing my Nike shorts and whatever shirt I think looks good.” No. I don’t know why she called me Honey as if she’s suddenly channeling Flo from the show Alice.

The sad thing is I think I may let her wear her Nike shorts because the temperatures are completely insane at this point. INSANE. Like I wore denim shorts the other day and had to take them off as soon as I got home because they made me angry INSANE.

All I know is it seems like back when I was in school I always wore some new outfit on the first day. Specifically I remember a yellow and hot pink Esprit ensemble that I wore the first day of ninth grade that even had a matching cardigan. And I kept it on all day. Which makes me wonder if it used to be cooler back then? Is there a chance that global warming is real? Or was I just much more heat tolerant back then? Or maybe just more willing to suffer for the sake of impressing cute boys in my Pre-Algebra class with my fancy Esprit cardigan?

Because everyone knows that ninth grade boys love a cardigan.

Anyway, I haven’t really spent much time on the internet looking for fashion this week. However, I did notice that Ruche has some darling things in right now and so I will list them here in case you want to check them out.

1. island escapade cardigan

I’m a little afraid of anything with mohair in it, but I’m willing to take a chance because I love the way this looks.

2. abbey road tweed blazer

Remember, a blazer is one of the top trends for fall. Don’t you wish someone wasn’t so lazy and you knew what the rest of them were?

3. acrostic poetry striped cardigan

I didn’t know what the word “acrostic” meant until Beth Moore used it in a Bible study.

4. striped revolution wedges

Well, these are darling.

5. jane’s darling dress

Now this is what Betty Draper would wear when she cooks breakfast. It also comes in curvy sizes. And in black.

6. open wind striped curvy plus top

I love the whole 70s thing this top has going on.

7. library afternoons maxi skirt

I’m pretty sure this is the skirt that Sophie told me she bought a while back and said it’s like wearing your pajamas. I can get on board with that.

8. lepidoptera paisley tunic

Yeah. I don’t know what lepidoptera is either. But I do like this tunic and think it would be cute layered under a loose cardigan or a black blazer if it ever cools down to maybe 94 degrees or something.

9. leilani embroidered cardigan

Love this with jeans.

10. aventurine ring

I’m a sucker for anything this color.

Hope y’all have a lovely Friday.

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And where is Ken while all this is going on?

Yesterday morning I woke up and cooked a semi-nutritious breakfast for Caroline and her friends. After all, I have more pride than to let those girls go home and tell their mothers about their delicious breakfast of chocolate Pop-tarts. So I scrambled eggs and cooked sausage just like I was Betty Draper. Except Betty Draper wouldn’t be caught dead in pink plaid pajama pants and an old gray t-shirt that reads “Texas A&M Football ’94”.

Which is really her loss.

And kind of reminds me that I haven’t mentioned the whole A&M to the SEC thing over the last few days. I guarantee it’s not because it hasn’t been on my mind. I spent the better part of my weekend doing extensive research about the whole thing and it just about put me in the bed on Sunday when the SEC came out and announced they were happy with their existing twelve teams.
But then I learned that may all be a part of what is known as FANCY legal maneuvering to avoid a lawsuit. Not to mention that A&M’s Board of Regents gave our president, Dr. “Bowtie” Loftin authority to make any necessary decisions regarding athletic conference realignment. Ultimately the whole thing still looks pretty good at this point. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’d appreciate it if you’d refrain from leaving comments about your brother’s friend’s uncle who knows “someone” in the legislature or the Big XII or lives next door to Dan Beebe who knows it will never happen. That kind of speculation is the kind of thing that will leave me in a tailspin for the rest of the day. It leads me down a path that is obsessive at best and unhealthy at worst.

Thank you.

Honestly, I wasn’t even going to bring any of that up. Because I have more important matters to discuss. I spent most of yesterday cleaning out my desk drawer, the playroom, Caroline’s bathroom and our laundry room. I still have miles to go but it was a start and it led to four full trash bags of things being hauled out of our house. Hallelujah and amen.

But it was in the midst of this clean out that I discovered something going on under my own roof that I was unaware of. I’m usually a big believer in not airing dirty laundry in a public forum, but I feel like we need some help.

Barbie was spotted naked planking in our bathroom.

At first I thought it was just a one time thing, but then I found her friend doing the same thing on the American Girl doll’s beauty shop chair.

Needless to say, I’m not sure the American Girl dolls are going to get over it. They were shocked and horrified. But one confided to me that she’d always suspected Barbie might be a bit fast. Especially since she got that Hot Tub Party Bus last Christmas along with those faux leather pants.

Nothing good ever comes of faux leather pants.

The last straw was late yesterday afternoon when I walked in to witness this spectacle.

Oh Barbie.

She has taken her friends down with her. Even the brunette. I’m all for getting on board a trend, but I think this has gone to far.

I feel like there needs to be some sort of intervention. We need to let her know that this kind of thing might fly in some playrooms, but not at our house.

Or it might just be time to send Barbie and her friends packing on their Hot Tub Party Bus.

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