The Antelope in the Living Room

If you know me very well or have read my blog long, you know how much I admire and love Melanie Shankle of The Big Mama blog.  She was one of the first blogs I ever ready when I was a new mama at home with a colicky baby and I’ve said time and time again that she and Sophie from the BooMama Blog “saved my life” when I was first a SAHM and at risk of slipping into isolation and feeling I would never be good enough for my baby boy.  Their honestly and humor and continual direction to Christ and His love helped keep me afloat.

Getting to meet and work with Melanie on her home the past couple of years has been so fun for me. One of those full circle kind of moments when you get to meet and work with someone that you have admired from afar.  And one of the rarities when that person actually exceeds their online persona and makes you feel wonderful. You can read about  my first visit to her house here. I was so thrilled when she published her first book about motherhood.  Sparkly Green Earrings made me laugh and cry and feel, just like her blog posts, that maybe I can be enough for my kids with Christ on my side and with a willingness to laugh when needed and not take myself too serious.


Now she has tackled marriage with her new book, The Antelope in the Living Room.  You go Bigmama.  I think when she told me this while standing in her kitchen last year I might have said “oh wow that is scary are you serious?” …this was a big subject to tackle but she has been obedient to a calling  and she has written this book.  Not to sound too dramatic (because yes it will be funny and light at time but it will be honest too I have no doubt) but really, would YOU want to write a book about marriage, a look into your very own marriage?  Think about it. I have a preview copy in my hands and can’t wait to read it. I just want to thank you in advance Melanie, and you Perry for being so open to how God is using your wife in this crazy bloggy world!


And I LOVE the title.  The Antelope in the Living Room!  Oh yes indeed, THE MOUNTS at Melanie’s house have been of much discussion on her blog and “OMG how will you decorate around them. . .”  I had the priviilige of choosing fabric and helping plan bookshelves and decor around her husband’s various animals and as a fellow Texas tell her “they aren’t that bad.” The phone photo above just doesn’t do this room justice, one day we will show more. Animal hides and horns and mounts are actually chic now anyway right and we worked on that Texas Hill Country look with much fun for the Shankle home.  After all with all these antler design trends out there isn’t it better to use the real thing and be authentic.;

antler decor


And honestly, when you have a husband as cute as Big Mama, who cares, get over it, make him happy.  He is so nice and so cute and such a good daddy. Let him have the demonic antelope in the living room, I mean the authentic antler decor.  Anyway, it’s Big Mama’s story so I will let her tell you but I just want to say I can’t wait to read this book and I hope you will get a copy ASAP.


And if you haven’t read Sophie’s book get a copy soon.  In fact, I never blogged about it because it honestly hit me kind of hard and I wasn’t sure how to articulate.


Yes a funny book which focuses quite a bit on bacon hit me in the emotions.  But it wasn’t the part about bacon and cooking and the table.  Though that part was wonderful and I agree with Sophie very much about the importance of home and the dinner table.  What really struck me about the book, which I read on an airplane ride to Charleton to celebrate our 15th Anniversary, was the very serious and very wise points she made about marriage and tough times and perserverance.  Last year was a hard year at my house, lots of work and outside stress and Sophie’s book used humor and her gentle way to remind me of the need to push on and perservere through the daily muck of living.  And that there is beauty in all of that mess.

So read these books.  They aren’t heavy John Piper type of stuff, they are funny and antecdotal BUT don’t be fooled…These girls are smart and their hearts are full of Christ and wisdom that only comes from above.  Visit the Big Mama blog here. You can pre-order The Antelope in the Living Room here.  And thank you Melanie and Sophie for starting your blogs ten years ago when most of us didn’t even know what a blog was!

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  1. I love Melanie’s writing – a big fan of her blog and of YOU! I dream about being together with all of you fabulous women at once – me with NO accent and you all with your cute southern accents!

  2. hill country texas look. i’ve loved that look from “howdy ya’ll”….
    you guys did an awesome job & YES i want to see more of her gorgeous home.
    that melanie is something else!
    can’t wait to read it either!

  3. I loved Melanie’s first book and can’t wait to read her second one. Wow, TWO books!

    Most of all I really love those chairs and the bookshelves. Your work is beautiful and amazing as always.

  4. I’ve read both books, and yes, for me too- they struck close to home. I cannot wait to read Melanie’s new book! That is the power of writing- in putting yourself out there you never know what changes you can make in another person’s life. I love the honesty of these two women 🙂

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