Hallie Jen Bonnie Christy Kelly Haley mygirlAdrienne
Edel was kind of a blur. An awesome awesome blur. The kids and Jacob were with me since we were all en route to a wedding Saturday night. I knew going into Edel that I would miss the Saturday evening festivities because a dear friend was getting married that night. I also knew the conference would not be the relaxing and rejuvenating experience it was meant to be because I would be dodging back to the hotel room between sessions to nurse a clingy nine month old.
We stayed at the La Quinta up the street from the Omni, and after we arrived on Friday, Jacob took Jake for a swim in the hotel pool so I could get ready for the evening's cocktail party. I fidgeted and fidgeted with my hair, mad at myself for the mop of neglect it has become, put it up, combed it down, considered taking a shower, felt guilty about not just growing up already and paying good money for a good hair cut. I eventually managed a lackluster braid and slumped down on the bed to check the interwebs for some #edel14 love. Jacob got back from the pool with the toddler, looked at Lucy June on the floor of the hotel room chewing on a remote control, and then helped me through my minor meltdown concerning an old stain on the only dress I'd brought (prepared who?).
Jacob helped get the stain out and gave me a pep talk. Then I pulled on my cowboy boots and moseyed over to the Omni for the cocktail party. I wondered if I would see anyone I recognized in the lobby, but as soon as I walked through the glass doors I got so nervous I just stared at the ground and basically 007ed it to the elevators. After waiting six minutes (a lifetime!) for the elevator, I finally made it to Adrienne's room. Adrienne is one of my blogfriends turned real life friend, and we'd already decided to walk into this gig holding hands. I was nervous. So was she.
I couldn't make sense of the nerves I had. Or maybe I could. Over the years, this community of bloggers has become so important to me - it's helped carry me through these tough early parenting years. I'd thought about the possibility of a gathering like this for a long time, but it'd seemed so impossible. But thankfully Hallie and Jen are a little bit insane and a little bit magical because they made it happen.
I knew I didn't have the time to be nervous: I had so many people I wanted to connect with, that the connecting had to happen ASAP and I had to squelch any desire to appear cool in favor of marching right up to people and introducing myself. So Adrienne and I kicked back our first glass of wine and before I knew it, we were laughing with a five minute old friend about armpit stains.
Edel was electric.
We headed west out of town on 290; we headed west away from Edel.
Rushing to my hometown in the rural Texas Hill Country for this wedding, I could only think about how I was leaving this vibrant vibrant space that had collected women from so many places.
Two hours later and I was sitting on a white wooden chair in a crowd of people full of expectation - many of the faces in the crowd I recognized and even the faces I didn't recognize were familiar because of our common purpose. We were all about to witness something important. The buzz of Edel faded as I watched this friend walk the aisle in the most beautiful wedding dress I'd ever seen. The same wedding dress her mother and grandmother had worn before her. And I heard Hallie's words from the conference anew: "It is good that you are here."
|Shamelessly stolen from facebook.|
Since that moment, those words have become like a song stuck in my head. Sitting at the breakfast table with my gentlemen and my little lady: "It is good that you are here." Nursing a baby to sleep and telling story after story to a drowsy toddler: "It is good that you are here." At book club with my dear Houston community as a dozen children run around in costumes and fight over toys and Jake spits on everyone: in a space beyond the din of the new five year old's harmonica, "It is good that you are here."
And now I must go to bed before I'm tempted to use another word like "din." Goodnight, friends.