I Told You People to Go Through Mentone…

I Told You People to Go Through Mentone…

Thursday morning at zero dark thirty I loaded my perfectly packed pink suitcase up into my super clean car and hit the road to Greenville, South Carolina. My friend Heather, another blogger, went with me. Our destination? Allume, of course.

Allume Greenville South


Yeah, I totally shoe polished the car. The kids were mortified and wanted it washed off immediately. Minions!

Allume is Christian conference for female bloggers that happens every year. Last year I went and absolutely loved it.

Now lets just look at the madness that is driving from Huntsville (my hometown – you should move here. It rocks.) to Greenville.


Does it annoy anyone else to have to drive in the shape of a snake when the city you need to go to is parallel to the city you’re in? Now as you can see, my iPhone wanted me to go through Chattanooga. Y’all. You know I can’t abide going to Atlanta any other way than through Mentone!

But we didn’t do it. See, Billy (my husband – insert Awwwww here) was trying to be nice and um, ‘let me’, use the Garmin. Now I hate the Garmin but darn it if he doesn’t think it’s the greatest thing ever. I agreed to use it and the next thing I knew we were crazy lost in the mountains of North Georgia. See, Monsieur Garmin didn’t want us to go through Mentone. It didn’t even want us to go through Chattanooga. Nope, it took us to Rome, Georgia and then to Nowheresville, Georgia, and yes, I did hear banjos in the background. If you don’t get the reference don’t look it up. 

The good thing about getting lost is that we stumbled upon this amazing store in Cartersville called Sew Know Serious.

Sew Knot Serious

I’m not sure how to even describe it. It was super eclectic and – like the sign says – quirky.

Bench made with tailgate

Benches made with the tailgates of pickup trucks.

Awesome chairs:

fabric covered chair

Scarves that could definitely be worn at Auburn games:

Cute scarf

It was fantastic. The kind of place that normally I drive by and think ‘Aw, man! If I didn’t have the kids with me I’d totally stop there!”

But look:

Allume 2013

No kids!

I’ll blog about Allume later. It was awesome as usual.

In the meantime I highly recommend just going through Mentone to get to Atlanta! But if you don’t do that, you should definitely end up in Cartersville because Sew Know Serious was super cool.

Five Minute Friday: Together

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to participate in another Five Minute Friday! In case you don’t know, Five Minute Friday is a movement started by Lisa Jo Baker, the Gypsy Mama, as she’s known, where bloggers sit down for five minutes and write what’s in their heart from a one word prompt.

Now Gypsy Mama probably knows what the correct punctuation should be in in the above sentence because clearly that’s what we call a run on. That just goes to show that that really I have no business hanging out with this #FMF crew. They’re all like ‘love, peace, dreams’ and I’m all like ‘Hey! Did I ever tell you about the time my Grandmom killed a snake with a mop?”  

That’s okay, though! It’s a fun experiment!

Tonight’s prompt for Five Minute Friday is Together

They have fancy blogs, these women I’m with. Um hmm. Super fancy! They are technologically savvy blogging rockstars. Well, rockstars  without all the pesky drugs and illicit activities.

Y’all! They know what widgets are! And buttons! They actually know how to add buttons to their blogs! They actually know what a button is!

Amy Lynn Andrews indeed. I bet all of these other women know how to add affiliate links!

The Gypsy Mama is all ‘let’s create community’ and I’m all ‘last week I acidentally pooted in the Target checkout line.’

But…I’m here. And we’re all together. And we write and we see where God leads us.

And I’m watching God use the monkey that is me to contribute to things that are larger than me and my world.

I’m watching the Lord knit us together for causes that are wild and crazy and way beyond our know how and it’s working! It’s actually working.

This togetheness.

And one day I’m going to know what a back link is. And one day I’ll learn how to embed a video. And yes, one day I’ll even know what a widget is! I mean, not today of course, but one day.

Until then though I’m stumbling through the wonder and the wilderness together with all the rest of these women. These women. Rockstsars together every one.

The Southern Festival of Books

The Southern Festival of Books

Hello Nashville! Yesterday I grabbed James, the oldest minion, and took him to Nashville to the Southern Festival of Books. More specifically I took him to see Rick Riordan at the Southern Festival of Books. Rick Riordan is the author of the Percy Jackson series, amongst other things.

Southern Festival of Books

The organization of the line was a bit of a…um…well, it was a bit unorganized. None of the ushers knew where the line was, half of them were letting people in early and half of them weren’t. It was a bit of a mess.

A crazy hot mess because the summer just will not be denied in the lower South and even though it’s October it’s still ninety flipping degrees.

We were lucky enough to meet up with a friend and her son when we got there and made the decision to go in early and sit through the session before Riordan – thus insuring us with a good seat.

The session was for Chuck Pa…oh my goodness, this mans name is crazy hard to spell…Chuck Palahniuk, Yep, the author of Fight Club.

It was a bit of a caveat emptor. Ya know, ‘Buyer Beware.’ The ushers told us ‘you can sit through this session but it is going to have very adult language and very adult themes.’ Er….

So, my friend Kristi opens her purse. Y’all, this purse was Mary Poppins carpet bag. It had everything you could possibly need. I’m pretty sure if I had said I was tired she would have pulled out a pillow, a sleep mask, and a glass of warm milk for me (because, actually that’s kind of how she is.)

Ya know, sometimes I hang out with other Moms and I look at my kids and think ‘dude, you kind of pulled the short end of the stick with me.’

Doesn’t it rock to have organized friends, though? So she pulls out ear plugs for the boys and we sit down. Have ear plugs and iPhones will travel.

We must have had ten people come up to us, one of whom was Mr Palaniuk’s publicist, and tell us THIS IS NOT A SESSION FOR KIDS. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We got it.

It was definitely entertaining. Monica Drake and Chelsea Cain were also part of the panel. Drake read a pretty moving piece on, oh, I guess you’d say the city. It was full of energy but made me sad. Chelsea Cain read a ghost story she had written. Palaniuk read a piece on suicide, sort of.

They also played some games and just generally gave the attendees a good time.

Chuck Palaniuk Pajama Party

It was fine. The kids stayed completely focused on their game systems. James played Minion Rush and Fruit Ninja the whole time and I’m pretty sure he never heard a word that was said. I know he never looked up from his game.



James and his buddy before the event.

So, on to Riordan! Originally James was pretty bummed when he found out it wasn’t going to be a book signing, just an appearance. However, Riordan gave such an amazing presentation that all was forgiven.

He was absolutely hilarious.

Rick Riodan book tour


Apparently, he spent fifteen years teaching middle school so he knows how to make the kids laugh. He would have been a fantastic teacher.

Rick Riordan college


Self deprecating but not whiny. Informative but never boring.

How authors make money


Check out this chart. The average author makes a royalty of only 10% on each book? Crazy talk! Also, 40% of Americans don’t read even one book a year. Wow.

James is not easily impressed. I mean, he’s not a jerk but it just takes more to make him laugh than most kids.

That’s why is warmed my heart (insert awwwwww...) to see him interacting and laughing and genuinely loving it so much.



Perhaps what prompted the best response from the audience was the book covers in other languages.

German book cover Percy Jackson

Did you know the author has zero control over what the book covers look like in other countries?

Did you know that Riordan hasn’t seen any of the movies! Once he realized he wouldn’t have creative control he stepped away from the process and said he didn’t want to mess with the ideas in his head of the characters. Crazy, huh.

I love going to author events and this one ranks up there with one of the best I’ve ever been to.

If ya get the chance, yeah, you should go!