October 29, 2016

These are the times that try writers' souls...

Hey all. I have some exciting news....I mean, I think it's exciting news. Experienced NaNo-er's, correct me if I'm wrong. :P

That's right. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Thus, please forgive me, dear readers, but I don't see myself appearing in the blogging world till December....or perhaps even next year. (Or ever, if NaNo kills me. But, let us flatter ourselves, that might outlive you.)

Of course, if I find the time, I do hope to pop back in now and again to comment and the like, so hopefully I won't completely disappear off the face of blogger. Maybe even I could do some update posts on how my novel is coming along....? We'll see. I make no promises, because I am notorious for making big plans and not living up to them. :P

In the meanwhile, enjoy the last days of autumn! And, if you're not a NaNo participator, be grateful you won't be spending your November struggling to write 50,000 words. (I still think I'm rather insane for trying this...)

*hugs* See you all in December!

Ps. Of course, this also means I won't have as much time for emailing. I hope anyone that I owe any emails to understands! I'll look forward to catching up with all you after this whirlwind of a month dies down. :)

On being a great writer.:

October 22, 2016

Those once-in-a-life-time kind of things....

I seem to make grand plans about "coming back" to the blogging world after an extended absence....only to disappear without a trace after about 3 posts.

I do 'umbly apologize.

I mentioned in my previous post that I would be gone on a weekend trip, and while I had a very good excuse for my absence then, I suppose I don't now. After all, that post was nearly a month ago.

But let me try to focus. I don't know if you've heard or not.....but, if you missed the exciting news, let me now enlighten you. In September, I had the immense blessing of attending an event that allowed me to meet not one, not two, not three, but FIVE blogging friends.
Oh yes, Arthur, I did.

What event could it possibly have been? Why, this one. :)

I just...how do I type this while remaining coherent and somewhat mature?

But.....I said five blogging friends, didn't I? 


I have no words. I met five blogging friends, five friends very near and dear to my heart.
photo credit:moi
I don't know how I can possibly tell you all that I wish to share with you. I will try my very best to make it long enough that all of my interested readers are satisfied, but short enough that you aren't bored out of your minds—and that I don't go insane trying to write about it all. ;)

moi again
I met Heidi and Èowyn first. I've been blogging friends/penpals with these darling girls for about three years now, and meeting them was a literal dream come true.
My mom was traveling with me (Naomi, I really admire you for flying across an ocean all by yourself. I couldn't imagine doing this trip alone, and I was only traveling across a few states!) and when our plane arrived I was....well, I was a nervous, excited mess. Nervous mostly because I was so afraid of making a bad first impression. I usually get nervous meeting people for the first time, but I kept telling myself it was ridiculous to be nervous. After all, I did know these people. I just never met them. :P
And then,  I hardly need explain why I was excited because I WAS MEETING HEIDI AND ÈOWYN.
Friends: 1940s:

Despite my nerves, my mom kept telling me everything would be wonderful. I should have paid more heed to her, because my mother is always right, and everything did indeed turn out wonderfully. There was no awkwardness when we met, only an abundance of hugs and smiles and squeals. :D

This sort of "reunion" was repeated later in the day when Olivia and her mother arrived! Èowyn and I had the privilege of meeting Olivia first and the whole hugs and smiles and squeals scene was repeated again....and again later when Heidi met her....oh, it was all such great fun. :D

From here on out I will be telling you different highlights of the trip, in order to shorten this narrative. ;)

~Talking and eating and laughing together at the rehearsal dinner was SUCH fun. We admired the strung lights (below is a photo) and the "no admittance except on official party business" sign on the kitchen door. We watched a slideshow of photos of John and Heidi through the years (cutest thing ever ;)) and exclaimed over the music playing (Èowyn and I both share a love for Ricky Nelson's music, and when she pointed out that a song of his was playing, I may or may not have squealed in delight!),  and marveled again and again and again that WE WERE TOGETHER. I honestly couldn't count the number of times we said things like, "Can you believe it?" "We're together—in the flesh!" "This still doesn't seem real!" "You're a real person!"

Ahem. Okay, perhaps we didn't say that last one, but I'm pretty sure we were all thinking it in some way, shape, or form. ;)

~I suppose this would be a good moment to tell you the not so fun part of the trip. I had an awful cold. Actually, Olivia was also getting over a cold, and together we were pretty pitiful. Despite the fact that I could hardly speak (my voice broke so many times, and I can't tell you how embarrassing it was) it was still one of the best times of my life. While not having a cold would have made it all better, I wouldn't actually say it made it worse. :)

~Another thing we all loved was being able to talk about all of YOU. Yes, you! Our blogging friends. It was so amazing being able to say "I'm going to miss Emma Jane's posts" or "Did you hear about Hamlette's John Wayne blog party?" for instance, and know exactly who the other person was talking about! And don't worry, everything we said about allll of you were wonderful things, of course. ;)

~Olivia and I were able to have breakfast together (with our moms, who got along splendidly together, much to Olivia's and my delight!) while everyone else was preparing for the wedding! We both share a nonsensical love for "free" hotel breakfasts and....yeah. We had fun. ;)

~Olivia and I also amused ourselves by wandering the hotel whenever we were unneeded and our friends were busy with wedding preparations. We went wherever the wifi was strongest so we could watch videos together, such as this one or this one.

~When we were ushered to our seats in the church (wedding time!!), I still believe to this day that the usher was confused as to whether we were relatives or friends. ;) Olivia and I were by ourselves at the time, and when we were placed very near to the front of the church, we started wondering if perhaps we had been misplaced! Then, when we saw Jessica and Rosie sitting a few rows behind us, we decided to be rebels and move to sit with them. ;) (I kept expecting an usher to scold us, but nothing happened.) Of course, once we saw them behind us we had to go sit with them, even if we were in the right spot. After all, we wanted so much to witness the wedding with them—and blogging friends stick together!

Pin for Later: Cinderella's Dazzling Pictures Will Take Your Breath Away  But Cinderella is too busy dancing to notice.:

~Heidi's musical choices were so perfect; we couldn't stop sighing and squealing over them. She had pieces of music from Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice '95, and Ever After.
As if that wasn't perfect enough? Her first dance with her own Mr. Knightley was this.

~Witnessing John and Heidi's wedding was, of course, the entire point of the trip and oh such a special thing. The ceremony was beautiful, and seeing my dear friend promise to love, honor, and cherish her husband for the rest of her life was so special and amazing. :')
(If you'd like to see some wedding pictures, here's a post she wrote!)

~After the wedding, it was time for the reception! It was such fun talking and laughing with Jessica and Rosie, eating delicious pie together, watching the dancing, and participating in the catch-the-bouquet-thing! (Is there a name for that?) (Oh, yes, isn't it called the bouquet toss?) Due to circumstances, the toss was done twice and Rosie caught it in the second time, saving me from being hit in the face with it. Thank you again for that, Rose! :D (Also, we're all looking forward to attending your wedding, now. ;))

~We were asked by so many people "Are you the blogging friends?" It was indeed such great fun to answer in the affirmative. Some people seemed rather confused by the notion, but more often than not they found it very exciting and fun. (One lady asked us if we minded the term "the bloggers". Of course we told her we didn't! :D)

~Dancing together was such fun, even though I cannot dance. :P  All five of us danced together with a bunch of little girls, who were such fun to watch twirling and running on the dance floor. I believe they danced much better than I ever could. ;)

~ All of us blogging friends got to help decorate Heidi and John's getaway car (after trekking almost the entire parking lot looking for it haha) with balloons and streamers and paper flowers and it was just great fun all around. :)

~When bidding farewell to the new Mr. and Mrs., everyone threw rose petals, which was quite lovely, but that meant that soon Rosie and Jessica had to leave as well and....sigh. I couldn't believe how quickly everything was coming to an end.  Hugs and sad smiles went around, and it felt like the Fellowship was starting to break up. :'(

~After the wedding, Olivia and I were once again left with time on our hands. We had a mini photo shoot outside, and here is one photo we took for the express purpose of "putting our faces upon the internet."
Well. kind of. ;)
me on the left, Olivia on the right

~Soon, everything was over except for one more highlight of the day....watching a movie with Èowyn, Olivia, and Èowyn's sister. Which was....simply a dream come true! I mean, honestly. We bloggers talk so much about movies and books and the like. What could be more amazing than watching one together?! The movie we chose was Belle. Èowyn and I hadn't seen it yet, and many thanks to Olivia, again and again, for bringing it because it's now one of my favorite period dramas. :) It was simply so lovely, and, as Èowyn noted, the part where John shouts of his love for Belle.....*sighs and cries and smiles all at once.* So incredibly beautiful. <3

Sam Reid & Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Belle -one of my new favorite movies! If you haven't seen it, watch it! You won't be disappointed :):

~Finally,  Èowyn, Olivia, and I had to say a final goodbye. I was leaving in the wee hours of the next morning for my trip back home, and so there was no hope of seeing each other over breakfast or such. I still laugh when I wonder what the hotel people who watch the security cameras thought of the girls having a big group hug in the hall of the hotel. It was very much like this:

A short night's sleep, and two flights later, I was home. Sadness and happiness were mixed together in my heart. I cried many times, because already I missed these special friends.This was a trip I never expected, and adventure I honestly didn't deserve to receive—especially considering how sad I was afterwards that it was over, instead of focusing on the goodness that it happened.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever Psalm 106:1  Isn’t it lovely how reassuring this verse is. His love endures forever! That’s a really long time. His love for us will never run out… it will never fade. Now that’s something to give thanks about! If you’re a lover of plants like we are, display this bible verse by some of your favorite succulents. #bibleverse #bibleverseprint #christianart #christiandecor #instantdownload #mysheephearmyvoice #psalm:

Despite the moments of sadness, I was and am and forever will be so thankful to God. He gave us a weekend overflowing with good things, and it will forever be one of my most treasured memories.

Girls—I love you all!! I'm so blessed. Each of you are amazing and being able to not only call you my friends but to have met you is such an enormous blessing to me. I have no words to describe it! This was a trip I will carry in my heart forever. It was certainly a once-in-a-life-time experience. (Although, I hope it's not a once-a-life-time-meeting! ;))
heehee Does this remind you of anything?

Ps. Make sure you read Èowyn's post about the trip here. It's simply beautiful and perfect in every possible way. :)