Last weekend was spent doing many things…traveling to North Carolina for the first time, seeing beloved online friends I rarely see, and wandering around Type A Mom conference as a bit of a loner (and liking it that way).
I went to this conference as a speaker, but also a bit on my own. I like being alone, it is often my most inspired time — feeling the warmth and glow of just me and God, doing some serious people watching, or nature watching, or wall watching (as the case may be). Alone is not uncomfortable for me.
So I was looking forward to seeing what it would be like at a conference alone. I could wander in and out of circles of ladies, lightly dusting various conversations with my own perspective (heh) and my open and willing ear, but best of all — I could spend time meeting new friends.
The panel I spoke on was about writing with authentic voice and passion — it was uplifting and moving for me as a speaker (I got teary on the panel — not the first time!) and I hope it was as meaningful for those in the room. The questions asked by attendees helped remind me of what I already know — I love writing and I love READING good writing.
*Photo by My Home Sweet Home
Casey hugged me after the panel and said just two words. “Thank You.” And they meant so, so much.
Here she is enjoying the goodness that is the new Little Debbie cupcakes (one of the main conference sponsors!):
*Photo by Secret Agent Mama
*Photo by Secret Agent Mama
Finally getting to meet Lisa in person, and her little bambino (made the uterus ache, y’all). Meeting Dirt & Noise and Morningside Mom (pictured here) who graciously took me from the airport to the hotel on Thursday night. Spending the afternoon giggling and swapping notes with Jyl and Rachel (who is VERY young, fyi)(heh). Spilling my heart and soul to Renee, who is so lovely it pains me. Finally meeting Deb, who is brilliant and kind and awesome. Getting to rub Megan‘s belly and her little baby’s booty one last time before we meet that sweet baby girl on this side of the womb. Meeting Dawn who showed me a photo book of her children and the pictures and their beauty were so amazing I had chills that wouldn’t quit. She has 8 children and is an angel. Seriously. Spending fun fun fun time with Jessica and Amy and OMGTHEREARETOOMANYTOLINK! All of these experiences I will treasure and weave them into my soul as cherished moments with smart and glowy ladies.
I sit here going through photos and I realize that I knew so many woman in one way or another, at this small and delicious conference. Not because I’m so fabulous and popular, but because our blogs mean something to each other, which means our hearts mean something to each other. I wish I could link all of you that I had moments with — you all changed me.
Which leads me to heart strings. Did you know you have them? They are the little invisible sparkly cords that reach out from your heart to others.
Sometimes you don’t know where they are going, or where they are heading. Sometimes you just feel a tug…and you email someone new, go to some gathering. Go to some conference. And when you do, you find the other end of your heart string. A pulsing, loving, kindred soul that makes you practically cry out with a knowing that you found the reason for that “tug”. Sometimes you become instant sisters, sometimes you find a new perfect blog to read. Whatever the connection, to add another heart string is to feel more complete.
Some of my new heart strings…
Women that touched me, knew me, filled my soul, gave me presents (and I will share THAT lovely-ness in another post!) and didn’t mind me lounging around in their room. Women who squealed and giggled and cried and let me do their hair. Women who shared pieces of their heart and listened to mine.
Mothers with whom I could talk about family, faith, and faltering at both. Women who make me so entrenched in their brilliant conversation that I look like this:
*Photo by Rick
Who are these women? All the ladies above. And…
Words, they really can’t say it enough. Thank you my sisters, for who you are. You are light and glitter and real and generous. Love.
Thank you to Kelby for putting on one AMAZING conference, and thanks to all the sponsors who made it happen!