Things you don't see at the historic Francis Marion hotel. Playmobil guy chillin' on the Charmin. I think one of my offspring was sent to time out in the bathroom while I was gone??
Edel is fairy dust sprinkled on your life. I love fairy dust.
My experience of last year's gathering is still pretty blurry. I went with our son, Joseph, who was FOUR WEEKS new at the time, because, why??? Like I said, blurry. So, this year, I feel like I was actually able to relax and enjoy the journey a little bit.
The only real hiccup of the trip was, after a three hour layover in Atlanta, my dear friend, Kathryn, and I were finally able to board our flight to Charleston, but ended up being stuck there for another hour waiting for the "people in charge" to empty a bazillion pounds of fuel from the plane.
In the mean time, after my attempt at
Just outside of 82 Queen. Kathryn and I both woke up at 4:00 a.m. to make our flights, and it only took us 9.5 hours to get to the soup of my dreams.From the little of it I saw, Charleston is a beautifully charming city, with the best she crab soup on the planet. Well, I had never actually eaten she crab soup until Friday's lunch at 82 Queen, but if there's a tastier she crab soup out there, I really don't want to know about it. Because that's a one way ticket to gluttony.
Put the spoon down, Susan. Put. it. down.
My photo evidence of the weekend makes me sad, but that's what I get for refusing to drag the Nikon suitcase around Charleston. Edel had to be captured with the iPhonybaloney. There's some much better footage here, if you are so inclined.
I will sum up the rest of the trip in a list of personal favorites:
Rachel's blog, Testosterhome, was the first blog I ever read, and still read today. Like me, she is raising a tribe of boys, so I was ecstatic when I heard she was going to be one of the speakers at the gathering. To those sitting behind me, I'm sure I looked like a bobblehead, nodding in agreement at every single hilarious story she shared about the craziness of raising boys. She is a kindred spirit, indeed.
Favorite Quote (from Kelly's talk):
“You have been chosen twice; first to be, then to know Jesus. What are you doing with that fantastic mission? You have been created by God and know Jesus for one reason; to witness to faith and hope and love before an unbelieving world. I don’t care if the world knows you, or no one knows you. Even if you influence only one person in your whole life, God does not look at numbers or quantities. He looks at souls and individuals. If you were able, by your example or by one of your acts to bring one person to heaven, it would mean more to Him than all the accomplishments on earth.” -Mother Angelica
That's Mary, singing "All About That Base" like a queen. Love her!
Post Mass joy with my newbie friends. Kathryn was such a trooper the whole weekend. She was asked approximately 472 times "Are you the one who broke your knee last week?" And, graciously she answered them. Every time, so incredibly gracious. I need to get me some of that southern sweetness.
Favorite Moment of Humility: Being asked by an attendee if I would refill her drink. I think she may have thought I was part of the wait staff, which means my cocktail dress wasn't as dressy as I thought it was. Sweet tea, no lemon, coming right up!
Favorite Takeaway: Although Edel is not a bloggers hangout, there are a lot of Catholic bloggers who attended. Since I'm a microscopic blogger no one recognized me, and I was thankful for that, because it gave me a chance to approach other women, strike up conversation, ask a lot of questions and listen, listen, listen.
I love hearing people's stories. I love being inspired by the lives of women who feel as though they are leading ordinary lives, yet are so very far from it. I love being reminded of God's goodness through the voices of those around me, because I can so very easily forget just how good He really is.
And, I love knowing that this longing that I have for community was not rejected but deeply affirmed by three hundred other incredible souls who are struggling and striving every single day to live their vocation faithfully, to be salt and light from behind a hot stove or beside a sick baby.
That kind of encouragement is not meant to be kept to ourselves. We need to take Edel to others, YOU can be Edel to others, even if you've never been there! Reach out to another mom, go out of your way to say hello, go somewhere without your make-up on and smile like you know your a beautiful woman of God, invite another mom over for coffee even if your house is trashed, be a listener, laugh at yourself, help others laugh at themselves, too.
If you're thinking about going to Edel 17 (yes, they're taking a year off), think no longer. Go. Just go. You will love it, I promise.