There were lots of tired ladies on airplanes this afternoon/evening. This much I know.
Some didn’t sleep at ALL last night. Some (probably most) of us got delayed in the airport in Chicago. I’m walking in now through a pouring rainstorm, about 2 hours late. Very sleepy, glad to be home to my handsome fella and my (sleeping) kids, and SO glad and grateful to have the chance to meet people from all over the world who’ve changed my life.
Lisa (and Todd!).
It is a privilege to have spent the weekend with you - misting up sometimes, laughing a LOT, marveling at the idea that people from ALL over the world can meet for the first time and feel like we’ve been friends forever, tearing up Chicago in a way that only 16 digital SLR-toting, external-hard drive-and-graphics-card-talking, Photoshop loving women can. I think the town will never be the same. And I know I never will be.
Okay, and we must mention that we were standing outside the hotel, saying goodbye to Todd and Lisa, and who walks up but Ms. Ali Edwards and Simon! Heck yeah! They were in town for the Democratic Convention, and it was SUCH a cool coincidence that we were all at the same hotel! Holy cow! Ah. I know I’m definitely not the only person who can point to Ali as the person who was one of the first inspirations for me in this crazy hobby, and she has only shined brighter as I’ve gotten to know her.
What I loved about this weekend? So much. SO, SO much. A really good pork chop on Thursday night (and let’s not forget the Carrot Cake for Two (ha! proved that menu wrong!), and a REALLY GOOD slice of Chicago-style pizza on Friday night - together with conversation that ranged from current topics to digital scrapbooking (of course!) to hardware and software and families and love, and why can a group of women NOT get together and talk about childbirth? There was some of that, too. HA. Todd loved that part immensely.
But there was so much more. The city was the perfect backdrop for a weekend of fun, but it was seeing the beautiful faces, hearing the stories, meeting these friends in LIVING, BREATHING color, seeing the light shine in their eyes, being part of the love for the hobby and for what it means to all of us. And of course I cried. Multiple times. I’m overwhelmed sometimes with the opportunity I have to be part of this - so grateful to have a voice and a means with which to tell my own stories, and to have a passion and an opportunity to share with others.
The photos will begin rolling in - I have a card full, and there’ll be a gallery of all the lovelies and their antics over at the site. For now, though, I have some serious sleep to catch up on. Whoa. I thought it would actually be kind of … well… weird to go traveling and not teach something. But it was SO.MUCH.FUN. And we’re worth it, right?