Happy Mother Day

I figured there was no better way to say Happy Mother’s Day to my mom than to spotlight her on my blog. No- she isn’t going to be the latest advertising sponsor but she is and has always been my biggest fan.

For those of you who do not know my mother or know of her, she is none other than Belle of All Things Southern. Her name is Shellie Tomlinson and she is not only mom to two amazing kids (uh hum), the most devoted wife to the sweetest man on earth (my daddy), a loving sister, a blessed daughter and an incredible friend but she is the author of Suck Your Stomach in and Put Some Color On and she is currently on tour right now for her latest book Sue Ellen’s Girl Aint’ Fat She Just Weighs Heavy! My mom has a sense of humor and writing style I could only dream about. Her nick for telling stories and making you feel like you were right there with her on the front porch is in my opinion what makes her the best at what she does. She is a prissy, sassy southern teller (pretty sure all girls in our family get the priss and sass from my grandmother Nanny) that I am so proud to call my mom.

Sue Ellen’s Girl Aint Fat She Just Weighs Heavy is so incredibly delightful and funny that you don’t have to believe my word- just trust the well-known Mr. Jeff Foxworthy. He wrote the forward to the book and loved every bit of it so much that he agreed to be interviewed on her weekly Fox radio show (Oh, did I forget to mention she also has a radio show on Fox- a woman of many talents). He said and I quote ” “There is nothing much funnier than someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously and just “tells it all.” I know. I’ve made a pretty good living doing just that. As a Yard Bubba ( You’ll have to read the book for an explanation ) living in a house full of Southern Belles I am here to tell you that Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is laugh out loud funny. For anyone that has an ounce of Southern blood flowing through their veins or those that wish they did, this book is going to be a treasure!”

For those of you who are dying to see what this book is all about- check out the excerpt my mom so kindly allowed me to share with you all below from Chapter Three (play close attention because yours truly is in it):

“Chapter Three: Normal Crazy vs. Straight Running Crazy
~Southern Insight on the Absurd with Bread Recipes that Rise to the Occasion

“In my last book I gave a brief definition of a condition I often speak of called straight running crazy, or *SRC. It has since become clear to me that more clarification is needed in this area. Many of you have contacted me out of concern that you or someone you love may be suffering from SRC and you are eager to know where the line is between normal crazy and Straight Running Crazy.
While the legal department here at All Things Southern (comprised of my immediate family who don’t have a law degree among ‘em but are still legitimately concerned because they have, if you will, a dog in the fight) would like me to make it abundantly clear that I am speaking in jest and not proposing to diagnose or treat those that are truly mentally ill, I believe I can still offer a certain level of service to society by shining some southern insight on the absurd.

Although the notion to include just such a chapter in my next self-help book had been floating around in my head for some time, I remember exactly when the idea crystallized. I was in Houston, Texas with my daughter, who the day before had given birth to my first grandson, Grant Thomas Maher. My son-in-law and Baby Grant’s father, Patrick, had left to put in an appearance at work. Jessica and I were alone in her hospital room when one of the nurses came in to take Jessica’s vitals. (By law, hospitals are required to take your vitals every two minutes. It’s been my experience that some institutions relax this rule, content instead to take your vitals every hour on the hour unless they find you sleeping, in which case they will happily wake you up to take your vitals immediately.)

The nurses from the previous shifts had been nice enough, but they hadn’t been spending a great deal of time visiting with us. This was about to change. After giving Jessica Ann a thorough once over her new nurse began making small talk. The visit was pleasant enough but the longer she lingered the more I realized that she had something in particular on her mind, something she felt compelled to share. Finally, after covering the weather, the news, and what was worth watching on TV, she got down to it.

My daughter and I listened closely as the nurse began to run through what appeared to be her standard, “new mother operating instructions.” Jessica, remember, was just hours past the birthing experience, and laughing didn’t feel so good to the insides, so her sense of humor wasn’t in full appreciation mode, but even she had to agree with what I’m about to tell you. That pretty little Asian nurse’s “what to expect when you get home” routine was spot on and perfectly delightful.

“You happy now,” the nurse said, all serious like, “but when you go home” — at this point, she began frowning and gesturing with her hands to heighten the drama— “baby cry! You cry! Baby scream at you. You scream at husband. This normal for new mother. Hormones everywhere. Don’t be scared. Tell yourself, you aren’t run-in-street-wave-bra-in-air-crazy, you normal crazy.”

Good advice, yes? I thought so, too. I got to use it several days after I came back home to Louisiana. Jessica Ann called from Texas. She was trying valiantly to hold it all together, but I’ve been there, people, and I could sense those new mama hormones bubbling right there below the surface, just waiting to explode. When Jessica took a breath I said, “It’ll be okay, honey. Remember—you normal crazy!” Jessica laughed and the mood passed.

And that’s when I decided we should take a closer look at this thing for normal crazy is where I think most of us are most of the time. Straight running crazy, again, that’s what we want to watch out for. Here are just a few demarcations to get the ball rolling.

Normal crazy is getting up hours before dawn, leaving a cozy warm bed, and strapping your body to a tree to wait out the monster buck. Straight running crazy is that eager fellow I saw on the Outdoor Channel stalking that wild boar with nothing but a spear. Normal crazy is piercing your nose. Straight running crazy is piercing your private parts.

Of course, some people might say normal crazy is being an author and straight running crazy is trying to be an author, motivational speaker, web mistress, radio host, newspaper columnist, wife, mother, and grandmother. But for the record I have never waved my bra in the street. Not yet anyway. “

I can’t be with my mom today because she is on her book tour but I am with her in spirit and I want her to know that I am so immensely proud of her. Not only for her books but for who she is. A deeply devoted woman of faith and conviction and an incredible mom and wife. I can’t say enough about this woman that I also call my best friend. I promise you all will not be disappointed to read her books. Check out her book tour schedule by clicking here and see if she will be close by you- Tell her I sent you! If you can’t make it there then you can order her Sue Ellen’s Girl and Suck your Stomach In on amazon and they can be found in your local bookstores, Wal-Mart.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc. ITS EVERYWHERE!

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and all you other moms out there! Has anyone told you, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!


  1. Angie

    This was too funny! Your mom sounds so awesome. I want to wish you also a Happy Mother’s Day. And has anyone told you YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! 🙂

  2. Torrie @ a place to share...

    Jessica, this is so incredibly sweet!!. For this past year, as I’ve gotten to know you, I’ve heard bits and pieces about you mother and grandmother, and you know how I fee about you ‘women of the south.’ (secretly wish I was one… I must have a little in there *somewhere!) I have always been mesmerized, and in awe listening to your stories about these primary women in your life. Such strong, positive influences, and a loving support to you as a mother, and daughter.

    I just ordered both of your mom’s books, and I can’t wait to finally get a closer look, and get a little of your mom’s wisdom & love for myself!! =) I can’t wait to read them!!

    I hope you have a wonderful mother’s day, and sounds like the kids are waking up… Off to enjoy my day too! xoxo

  3. sara@domesticallychallenged

    This was amazing mom! I am headed off to read more of her stuff. She sounds wonderful.

  4. Biren @ Roti n Rice

    Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom! That excerpt is just too funny. The nurse may not have said it eloquently, but she sure got her point across. LOL!

  5. Erica

    Wow! How talented and amazing is your mama? And how much do y’all look alike? I love it! Happy Mother’s day to you both 🙂

  6. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day! That photo is gorgeous and I have to agree with Erica, you really look alike!

  7. Shellie

    Jessica Ann, you’ve made me cry! But it was a good cry. Thank you, sweetie. Mothering you and your brother has been the greatest of blessings! I love you~

  8. Shea

    Thank you for sharing about your mom, and her book! Judging by this excerpt, it sounds hilarious! I hope you and your mom both have a wonderful mother’s day!

  9. Joanne

    This is HYSTERICAL and your mom sounds AWESOME! I need to check out that book!

    Hope you had a lovely mother’s day chica!

    (and I might just be the straight running kind of crazy. I make no comment about waving my bra in the street.)

  10. Roz

    Wow, what a wonderful mother you have! And an author! Incredilble! I love the focus and title of her books and need to run out and purchase them! I had a wonderful Mother’s Day and I hope that yours was awesome too!

  11. Alli

    Thanks for sharing about your mother. I am going to go order the book! The excerpt is hysterical. Happy Mother’s Day girlie.

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