This past weekend popped down to Charleston, SC for the Edel Gathering– with one Heidi in tow. When I bought my ticket back in November I wasn’t aware of anyone I knew that was planning to go, but after hearing about last year’s event I knew I wanted to go even if none of my friends could make it (buy now, worry later, thought I). I was eager to partake of a weekend with delicious food, cocktails, uninterrupted conversation(!), and a slice of time to recharge.
During the days leading up to the gathering anxious thoughts started to creep into my head since I was going by myself, hence I started praying that God would take care of the social aspect of everything. So, on a wing and a prayer I headed off to Charleston. (Many thanks to Tim for holding down the fort at home!)
I’ll admit the social aspect of the weekend was challenging for me at times. I’m not a generally bubbly or talkative person around people I don’t know, and it was a little intimidating seeing so many women attending Edel with their friends, sisters, and moms by their sides. I felt the same way attending the CWBN Mid-Atlantic blogging conference in May (even though I at least e-knew some ladies there). I just wish I could learn to BE without feeling small or big, you know? Thankfully God sent me some buddies (is there a better word than that? There has to be for the over 10 crowd) during the weekend and I was able to hang out with Stephanie, whom I’d met before but didn’t know was going! While it’s uncomfortable stretching myself in those areas, I know it only yields positive growth- even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.
Charleston was beautiful. I wish so much that I could have stayed longer to explore the city- chock full of history, quirky shops, preppy dressers, and charming restaurants, and I’d be all over any kind of house tour. I even spotted a man at mass wearing a bow tie and white suit. I love the South.
For most of the day Saturday the hotel had no water pressure = showers and toilets out of commission(!), which as you can imagine was a *little* inconvenient but at least most of the attendees were in the same boat!
Heidi was a trooper during our southern excursion- she slept for most of both flights and handled the unscheduled naps/ late nights well. If I’m able to go again, though, I’d love to go completely sans kiddos…to be able to do things like sleep late, shower when I want, or NOT accessorize every outfit with a brown Ergo strapped to my person…
I know there will be a plethora of in-depth recaps that will do justice to Edel ’15, so I won’t even try, but I will list some of my favorite parts of the weekend:
- Shrimp and grits (so much yum)
- Rachel Balducci’s talk (although all of the talks were so very good!)
- Coffee available any time food was served
- Seeing Hallie & Jen in real life- maybe that’s a nerdy thing to say but I don’t care!
- Being surrounded by like-minded women- talk of NFP, and shoes, and no one batting an eyelash over the close ages of your kids.
- Spanish moss
- Mass at the beautiful cathedral
- Seeing bloggers irl whose blogs I’ve become familiar with
And my favorite line from the weekend was from another hotel patron- in the elevator a couple asked me, “Is there some baby convention going on or something? I’ve seen more babies in those sling things…”
And later, as I was leaving the Friday night event, another patron said, “It sounded like you all were having a lot of fun. What kind of group is it?”. After I told him what the gathering was about he said, “Fellowship- that’s a very good thing.” Indeed.
Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes