Monday, June 26, 2006

Lunch of Bloggers (Take Two)

Round one goes to Shalee. (Thanks for the prayers to make Blogger behave!)

The Gang...
I am still giddy over this entire weekend… Still smiling and wishing it had lasted Saturday and Sunday. Why, oh why, does time go so quickly when you are having a blast?

Sarah, Lammy Ann and KPJara

At the lunch at a Oklahoma Joe’s, (Jules – you were so right that it is a great BBQ place in KC… who’d have known?), we monopolized an entire section of the seating area. It was ours for the duration, even if they wanted us to leave. Although I neglected to get nametags for everyone, we quickly adapted and made nametags out of the napkins and tucked them into our shirts. Hey, what can I say? We are women of real genius. We sat and talked and ate and talked and laughed and talked some more. Half way through, a few of us did a “speed-dating” move to switch it up and talk to new people. The laughs continued, just in a new spot.

Janna and Aunt Murray (Mary)

I don’t believe anyone felt left out or unwelcomed, and that is a wonderful feeling to have when you’re the organizer. I think I pondered that situation for all of two seconds and then I knew that these ladies would never do that to each other. We all understand the meaning of acceptance and unconditional love in that context.

Strangely enough, I don’t think we talked blogging too much. There was some here and there, but for the most part, we mostly wanted to know each other. The real person behind the blog. And that was another moment of validation. We see each other as more than a bloggers; we see each other as friends. And it is so nice to see that you can make 18 new friend so quickly and easily. Even HolyMama could do it!

Addie and Beka

My Mr. Right was the only man there, not for excluding males though. He came because I promised to buy him lunch if he would be the photographer for the event. I think I had him at food.

After two hours of sitting and talking, we decided to break out of the restaurant. Over half of the ladies had to leave for home, while a handful of us went back to Jules’ house (thanks Jules!) for coffee and more chat time. What a blessing that was! A much more intimate discussion group that let everyone get involved, share concerns, iterate points of views… It really was a great bonding experience.

Look at that! I'm sitting next to Antique Mommy! She even let me kiss her famous shoes!

At about 5:30 we broke into a smaller group again because kpjara and her sister Michelle had to head back to Oklahoma, Aunt Murray had to go home for some much needed rest, and Antique Mommy had to catch a flight to Texas. (For the record, I love that woman as much as I thought I would, plus she paid me the highest compliment in my book. She said that I was like a little sister to her… Wait, you didn’t mean the bratty kind that would leave you alone, did you? Oh that could be so bad for me…) I was so sad to see them go as we had been having such splendid, heart-warming conversations.

So I invited Shannon, Chilihead and Jules over for dinner at my really clean house, thanks to my wonderful friend John. (He came over and cleaned my kitchen and dusted for me. I traded him breakfast for his energy. We both got a great deal!) Jules opted out so that she could feed her men and spend some time with them. So it was a really intimate gathering of four at my house. And what an exceptional time that was! One on one time with Shannon (who is as endearing in person as she is on her blog) and Chilihead (who is as funny and as likable in person as I expected her to be. She almost didn’t come this weekend and I would have missed out on her loveliness and her kindred spirit. Thank you so much for changing your mind, Chili!)

After a wonderful dinner conversation, we headed to Cold Stone Creamery for some fabulous ice cream. Boy were we all laughing at that gathering! Many of the customers kept looking at us with either awe and wonderment or with bewilderment. Why is it that others stare when people really are having a great time? And we weren’t even being annoying! Oh well, some people just don’t know how to have fun.

It was a beautiful night for ice cream, even if Jules couldn't keep her hands off my waffle cone. She was constantly stealing bites...

The last thing I said to Shannon and Chilihead was, “You need to come back when we do this next year!” and they both said, “Next year? We need to do this quarterly!”

That, my friend, makes the entire planning worthwhile. But the next one will need to be in January because I’m going to the gathering in Dallas in October. I’d love to meet you all there if you can make it, but I get first dibs on Antique Mommy’s guest room. I want to play with Sean!

Antique Mommy definitely having a great Mary Tyler Moore day!

PS. If you want to see the logs of everyone who attended, check out Shannon's post at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel...
PS again... I'll just post pictures throughout the day if Blogger will let me. There were so many more pictures taken that need to be enjoyed.


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