Last February, as I entered month two of 2012 and a specific prayer for God to clarify my purpose for writing and the venue to do it in, I purchased a ticket to Allume. My biggest fan, my husband, told me I couldn't think my way through or out of it and pushed "submit" on the computer before I could chicken out! Last February I was going to this conference all by myself and completely unknown.
In 16 days I will drive to PA and step into a room filled with friends I've met these last several months through blogging and social media. Who knew the community this space could bring? I'm so excited!
Some attendees are having fun writing posts dedicated to our Allume roomies and linking to Brooke at Surprised by Life and Stacy at 29 Lincoln Avenue. Some of these posts are hilarious, so you owe yourself a short coffee break and a chuckle or two. Go check some out!
I am thrilled to be rooming with the lovely Mandy Mianecki from Hearts Undaunted. I did my best to assure her in our phone chat that I was not only "safe" but fun too! You're right, Mandy, I'm not an ax murderer! Mandy writes freedom words with whimsy and love, so go visit in her space for a bit of refreshment.
Here you go, Mandy, some right-back-atcha information about what to expect in sharing a weekend away with me.
- I will get out of the car when I pick you up at the airport. And that means I will be in close enough proximity to give you a big 'ol hug. I placed this at the top of the list so you would have an opportunity to prepare your introverted self for a small personal bubble boundary breach.
- That said, I have plenty of introverted previous roomies who will attest to high comfort levels with me. I'm "friend" enough to let you be quiet, and "mom" enough to not let you freak out and hide. (I also have a bad habit of cleaning up the table before you're finished eating, so if I touch your food plate feel free to slap my hand.)
- I'm a terrible sleeper. The drip in the sink - yep, I'll hear it. I blame years of sleeping with humidifiers in northern tier States for my need for white noise. I'll bring the sound machine, but promise to revert to earplugs if the sound of a waterfall makes you wake up disoriented, wondering if you're in Pennsylvania or at Niagara Falls and thinking you had maybe one too many cups of coffee last night.
- ...sigh...I want a hug from Ann as well. Her book really reached through to my lonely heart in Germany and helped put my hand back in God's more firmly. I'm not a stalker (hey, Amy, you're a self-professed one and I'm hoping to tag along behind you a few times!) I never have been interested in autographs, but a hug from someone who became a friend through black and white ink and paper would certainly be nice. I'm sure she'd like to know we're friends, right?
- I don't really do small talk. I mean, I am very skilled at drawing people into conversation about themselves. I can keep words bouncing through the air like a good game of hot potato, laughter and all. But if you want to hear me, then it will be real when I speak. Don't worry, that doesn't mean heavy all the time. Just from the heart.
- I'm coming to this shin-dig with no expectations. Heck, I just now figured out my ticket covered all of the meal expenses and I don't have to budget for food. (Yippee!) My purpose is to build relationships and learn the more technical aspects of blogging and social networking.
- I'm hoping you'll want to do a lot of this weekend together. I mean, I'm brave and will find a seat anywhere, but it's always nicer to have a friend at your side.
- These last few years I've had opportunities to travel several different times for a few days away from my family. I always expect God to meet me in the quiet and unfamiliar. I will be making time for Him to be present in the weekend.
- Yes, I went to Catholic school K-5th grade. Sister Mary Charles scared me. Sister Bernadette gave me milk for my nickel. Sister Alice was strict. And Sister Marion Celeste was hard of hearing and would turn off the air conditioning in the Texas heat so she could hear. She was my favorite. And I loved them all. They let this little Protestant girl love Jesus madly, pray fervently, and stamp a little foot in protest of not being allowed to receive communion. St. Mary's was a haven for me.
- Can we talk pizza? You would not have convinced me before my last two years in Germany I could be a pizza-lover. A quick perusal of my photo albums and I guess a confession is in order ~ I do love pizza. (The extra 5 pounds I brought home to America attests as well.) And our perfectly matched answer to the pizza topping question cinched the roomie deal. Now when are we going to find time to host that Allume pizza party? We have to give people plenty of time to purchase the required chocolate entry fee! See you soon Mandy!
Thanks for joining the fun today, Favored One! If you've seen me in action, feel free to add to the list with a comment. Just don't scare Mandy too much!