Ho-ly Moses, I’m smoked. Like, smoked in the I can’t lift my arms they’re so tired kind-of way. But oh, the joy of joys of being within breathing and tackling distance of those you’ve cared about, talked at length about everything and nothing every day, prayed for, commiserated with. I cannot begin to explain for you in words how spectacular it was to wrap my thankful arms around all of you these past four days in both NY and in NC.
There are so many pictures to share, bear with me while I upload them and tackle them down online. I will share as I find them.
In the meantime, I want to share something I wrote, sitting at a table during my excruciatingly long layover in Houston Saturday night. On a pen and paper, old-school-like.
As I sit in a corner booth, noise all around, clouding me like a foggy distraction, lemonade tart in my mouth, stomach rumbling in anticipation, I see a woman walking, skinny, hair pin straight flowing down her back like a waterfall. I think of Amber and her bright eyes and how she was everything I knew she’d be without setting my eyes on her prior.
I see reminders everywhere of them all, of Mishelle’s electric eyes and smile, who’s talent in photography was over-shadowed by her loving spirit (and the girl can snap a picture with the best of ’em, so that goes to show you something..) Sara was cute as a button, her joyous playful essence came bursting out of the seams of her teeny body. Arianne‘s secretly quiet as well as breathtakingly beautiful, and Katja is such a delight, she’s just like that urge to lick your plate clean after a decadent dessert, not wanting to miss a single thing. Julie, who didn’t attend the conference, drove all the way up to see us anyway, and I literally exploded into a gazillion tiny pieces when we locked eyes, I was that happy to see her.
There were so many women I was completely smitten with, that I met at both events this week, like Piera, Rachel, Lotus, Jenn, Rhea, Amy, Danielle, Shellie, Stacie, Kadi, Casey, Trisha, Jen, Jessica, Amy, Angela, Jessie, to name a few off the top of my head, along with ones I was so happy to see again, namely “Aunty Maria” (shown right hugging baby dude) and the glowing, ready-to-birth-any-time Megan.
Meeting my fellow sisters, smiling til my cheeks hurt, but never stopping, sharing ourselves like they’ve been there since we splashed out of our moms’ bellies. Blood was of no concern with our connection. We just… were. Bonded.
These reminders I cling to, much like my baby dude did to me the past few days, embracing me with such love and comforting warmth.
We may not have physically met before this, but we already knew each other like secret far-away best friends. Many-a-time the words were uttered “we may have never met before, but it’s like I’ve always known you.” It matters not how we met, what matters is the room in our hearts for each other. Conversation spilled forth like an overflowing river of our mouths and didn’t stop all conference long. Everyone talked and talked and talked until some couldn’t manage another word with a hoarse voice.
While my body aches and yearns for my pillow, my husband’s embrace and my children’s sloppy kisses, my heart longs for these women, those souls who, while distance separates us, are as close to my heart as my blood.
I’m not the most put together woman on the planet, I have my faults, zits, stray body hairs and saggy skin with horrendous bags under my eyes and an addiction to coffee, but my words are my own, my love of the written word is strong, and my passion for life overwhelms me. I felt filled with emotion, beyond the ability to speak, to get to meet others who are just. like. me.
Thank you to you amazing women who graced me with inspiration, with unending laughter, unadulterated joy and grace beyond words. You raised me up in unimaginable ways. I adore you all.
A very special thanks to The Sister Project for helping me get to this life-altering conference.
*Additional pictures by Rich Bucich from Tiny Prints and Casey from Moosh in Indy.
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