1. One of my favorite moments of the weekend: I was sitting with some ladies in the corner of the cocktails and crazy shoes party chatting cheerily about a few subjects and someone said, "I felt like I should've gone to Confession before I got on the plane." And someone else said, "me, too!" And I thought the same thing about getting into the car. And none of us felt like a weirdo for thinking about Confession like that. It was a little surreal! The scene underscored the entire basis of the weekend and the crux of Jen's talk: you are not alone!
2. I probably had a somewhat different experience of the event than some of the capital "B" bloggers out there. I didn't have any online friends to meet up with. That is, I read a lot of blogs and feel an affinity for the women whose blogs I read, but they don't know me. It makes for a somewhat celebrity experience which is a little jarring. I was so disconcerted by the feeling that I failed to meet any of them face to face, but I can tell you that they exist in real life and don't just live in the computer.
3. I loved Hallie's introductory talk about planning the event and her Holy Spirit moments, especially when she said God wanted us to know, "It is good that you are here." I am indeed pregnant, but I would have gotten teary eyed at that moment even if I wasn't. I remember reading Jen's post about Edel on her blog, and I got chills reading it. My heart froze and I started shaking. I had no doubt that I was going to this conference with my friend, Emily. Then I got to the bottom and read the price of entry. My heart sunk. I couldn't dream of how I could find over $200 to make that happen. When the sale date approached, my husband received an unexpected bonus at work and told me, "why don't you take $200 and spend it however you want." That was my Holy Spirit moment!
4. Another Holy Spirit moment? Sure, if you insist! I won a vendor raffle of a kitchen decoration with a little recipe clip that says, "Everything is Grace" - St. Therese. I consider it a Holy Spirit moment because since January (remember this?) I had that quote written on a chalkboard in my kitchen, and only just erased it about a week ago. I guess I'd taken it down prematurely!
5. I couldn't summarize Marion's, Haley's and Jen's talks if I had to, but they were all truly touching and they all elicited the tears. I would love to hear them all over again.
6. Being at Edel made me identify some areas in myself that need to be addressed, especially self esteem issues. I was just thinking that my underlying assumptions about myself are that I am utterly forgettable and that I have nothing to offer anyone and am only a bother. Clearly, those need to go! When I enunciate them consciously I can identify them as obviously wrong, but I need to work on consciously thinking differently when those types of thoughts bite at my hems. Hey, exposing these things to the light is the first step, right?
7. Which leads me to: St. Martha the Dragonslayer. She sounds like a veritable bad-ass, doesn't she? A far cry from the Martha Jesus rebuked, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things..." who we all know so well. Every woman at Edel drew a saint medal out of a hat, and mine was Saint Martha, just in time for her feast day today! The story goes that Martha was wandering place to place during the time of Christian persecution and came upon a pagan village plagued by a dragon. The villagers told her that they would believe in the Gospel if she could vanquish the dragon. She subdued it with the sign of the cross, brought it back to the village on a leash and then killed it. I love Fr. Barron's explanation of the story's metaphorical meaning: "we can understand the dragon as a metaphor for all that is dark within ourselves, that dark power that consumes our goodness and life and makes us lose hope and succumb to fear. Martha, Christ-like in her sanctity is our friend and intercessor as we confront the dark powers within." Perfect, right! Read the rest here.
8. It was awesome to spend time with my college friend, Emily who I've known for 10 years now (we are getting old!). Usually when our families get together, she and I take care of the babies while the men go out and do manly beer things. It was so, so nice to be able to really talk to her again without the frequent interruptions that taking care of toddlers invites!
9. When I got home, Lillian was sitting in Oliver's lap contentedly watching Yo Gabba Gabba on the computer with a bow in her hair. Clearly, she had a good time with her daddy and he was able to prove himself in acts of valor comprised of changing dirty diapers, putting baby to bed, loading the dishwasher and other domestic tasks! Go Ollie!