Early one morning as I sat in my car after exercising at the grocery store at 6:40am in the pouring rain, I noticed on my phone that the Lifeway Dot Mom conference was coming to Dallas this year. I also noticed it was coming during cast season for our family.
I've wanted to go for years but nursing babies and distance and timing just haven't worked out.
I asked my husband that morning if I could go and he said yes.
Then I asked my best friend and she booked a hotel by the end of the day.
When I told Will that I was going to be gone for two days, he said,
"But, Mommy! You never do that!"
Yes, Love, & that is exactly why I need to go.
I so so so needed this weekend to look forward to. I needed the knowledge that I was going to be able to sleep all night. I needed to eat meals without feeding anyone in a cast. I needed to be with my friend and laugh and talk. I needed to learn about God's purposes for motherhood and I needed to be poured into.
Friday morning, I dropped off Will at school and Ellie at my mom's.
I painted my fingernails at red lights and emptied my car of car seats.
I may have been in a minivan but the music was loud and I was feeling good!
I may or may not have spent a good portion of the drive talking to Jennifer about our upcoming weekend - just in case we weren't going to get enough time to talk!
The Dot Mom conference was so so so good.
The four keynote speakers were Priscilla Shirer (so good!), Vicki Courtney (I want to read her new book & Bible study coming out), John Croyle (funny & interesting - by the way, have you heard of him, Jenn?) & Angie Smith (love her.)
Jennifer & I had to try not to be crazy stalkers of Angie Smith. We definitely passed her as we walked out of the bathroom one day. When I was pregnant with Ellie, Angie commented on this little ole blog! Yes she did! I was starstruck! Then she emailed me!!!
Jennifer and I stayed cool though in front of her.
Can I just say, one of my favorite Angie Smith quotes of the weekend was when she defended her family's practice of including Santa in Christmas. It had nothing to do with her talk, she just happened to mention it as an aside and then she asked the audience to please not tweet that Angie Smith doesn't love Jesus because she does Santa with her kids. Then she noted that she has yet to meet someone who doesn't believe in God because of doing Santa as a kid. It was so funny & quite bold of her in this generation of motherhood in which Santa can be quite divisive.
Jennifer and I took lots and lots of notes as we listened to each speaker. I hope to find time in the coming days to pore over them again - so much truth spoken over the group of moms in attendance.
I finally got to meet Amanda Jones! I've read her blog for awhile & a few years ago, we connected via email when we realized we had a mutual childhood friend whom we had lost. So fun to finally meet Amanda!
Jennifer & I thoroughly enjoyed going out for meals & having no one to feed but ourselves! And the clean up was the best!!
I also got to see Anna! She designed the blog header for me a few years ago & in 2007, she was on our first Where There's a Will team at the Dallas White Rock Marathon! I had not seen here since 2007 so it was really fun to see her again!
Jennifer & I did a little bit of shopping and a little teeny bit of exercise. We ate way too much and slept over 9 hours in one night! We also talked and talked and talked.
Plus - I washed my hair every day. That's a new record.
It was glorious and just what I needed. I had not left my kids ever with R overnight since Ellie's birth. (I had left W but not nursing Ellie.)
I did miss these two but not too much - mommy needed the weekend.
Plus, I knew they were having fun with their daddy & that this would be good for the three of them to have more one on one time with Daddy!
When I got home, I woke my kids up from naps and was so excited to have my "Cowboy Spy" back in my arms again along with his sweet little sister.
And then all of my rest from the weekend came to a crash as E was up from 12am-2am last night... & I got hit with food poisoning this afternoon.
So much for implementing my new and improved plan for being a better mommy that I developed over the weekend. By 3pm it was a total fail.
Thank goodness for a mom who can stop by to help, a friend who brought dinner, & a five year old who can read stories to his sister.
And thank goodness for a new day tomorrow.
I learned so much at Dot Mom & will hopefully find time soon to process it all and share some of my thoughts here.