On Saturday, Mabel and I traveled west to Front Royal for a blogging conference. I am a classic introvert, so it was a bit of a stretch for me. Mabel strongly dislikes travel, so it was definitely a stretch for her. Because I would be gone for most of an entire day, I went prepared. I packed multiple outfits for Mabel, and even a change of clothes for myself, just in case. I grabbed a granola bar and placed three small plums in a bowl and covered them tightly in cellophane wrap to keep the ants out. (My car sat for two months after Mabel was born, and ants took up residence. I keep forgetting to deal with the situation.) Last minute, I remembered to pull a Hope and Justin CD out of my desk drawer, and I grabbed my make up bag too. I’d need the tweezers. Once in my car, I used the tweezers to grab the CD out of the cd player that, in its old age, only partially ejects cds. I put in Hope and Justin and hoped they would make Mabel happy. I looked at the clock and saw that I was only leaving about 15 minutes later than I had planned, which is pretty good. Twenty minutes down the road Mabel wasn’t crying, and I was feeling a little proud of myself. I might be on time! Sitting at a red light, I grabbed my printed directions off the dash to remind myself of how long it was supposed to take, an hour and a half? As I scanned them, I realized that none of the streets looked familiar. With horror, I realized that I wasn’t holding my directions, but Jonny’s directions to the boys’ weekend baseball tournament.
I picked up our TracFone, the crappy little flip phone (that’s right) that doesn’t take incoming calls anymore for some reason, and only sustains a phone call for a minute, sometimes less, before emitting a very loud never-ending beep. I called home, hoping Jonny would still be there and we could meet and swap directions. Seth answered, and told me that no, Daddy had just printed himself new directions and headed to the game. I think I slapped the steering wheel; I definitely fought tears. I turned around and went back home. Once there, I had to pull Mabel out of the car to nurse again, hoping she would make the entire trip without us needing to stop. Eventually, I was on the road again. Mabel slept to the music for about 45 minutes, but then cried the second half of the trip. By the time I arrived at my destination, I felt a little frazzled. A friend saw me pull up and met me at my car to offer help. She noticed me place my mug on the hood of the car and asked if I wanted her to grab it. Feigning normalcy, I explained that no, I just put it there so the ants don’t swarm it for the residual honey. Doesn’t everyone do that?
The conference itself was lovely. My close friend Elizabeth was the keynote speaker. While we have been friends for years, she rarely agrees to speaking engagements, so this was my first time hearing her speak to a group. She was encouraging and convicting in all the right ways. I got to see Mary, whom I met last year at Edel, and seeing her again reminded me that I need more Mary in my life. I met lots of other neat ladies, and had a great time. I am not sure how Rosie, the host, pulled it off while 30 weeks pregnant! I think one of the more memorable moments was a few minutes into Jenny Ryan’s talk when she shouted, “Oh my! There’s a BEAR!” And sure enough a lanky bear cub was running across the yard. Bears are fast!
I answered a few questions on a Q & A panel at the end of the day, including one about finding time to write. I feel like that gets harder all the time, and I’ve just learned to squeeze it in where I can. If you could see the process of me trying to write a blog post, you’d just laugh. I’ve been interrupted so many times in the writing of this post despite the fact that I was sneaky and got up early (so did everyone else today!) This is life.
p.s. After Saturday’s ordeal (okay, that’s an exaggeration) I think I might buy a proper cell phone. Is there anything I need to know? I think if I’m going to do it, I want one with a good camera. So iPhone? That’s what people seem to have. I don’t need the latest one, right?
There is still a tiny bit of yarn left in my shop!