August 1, 2014

Name Dropping, All the Feelings, and Playlist for Jenny - My Edel Recap

If I had not been able to attend the Edel Gathering the #1 thing I would want to know is what are all those bloggers I love really like? So that's how I'm going to start my recap. Tender, beautiful summaries of the talks and the atmosphere can be read at other people's blogs. But I'm gonna name drop. With no shame.

Nell. Nell is lovely. Absolutely, positively lovely. If Edel had a Miss Congeniality prize she would have won. Over and over again I saw her introducing herself to people, especially people standing or sitting by themselves. I loved that about her. She just seemed good. Wholesome. The kind of friend who would make you a better person.

Kelly. I was fortunate enough to meet Kelly (and her whole family!) before so seeing her again was extra special. Here's the thing I noticed about Kelly: we all already know that she's funny but she does not do it to boost herself up or to be loved. She does it to make you laugh. It's all about you, not her. I think it would be easy to write her off as having only the virtue of being hilarious but she's so much more than that. Kelly is selfless, smart as a whip, wise, and has a great deal of empathy. 

Calah. I wish I could have spent even more time with Calah, in a small group, really getting to know her. I have often read Calah as really bold and brave and tough. I still think of her that way but after speaking with her at Edel I now see all the gentleness and receptivity that I had missed before. It makes sense, because she isn't afraid of learning through her writing, but I'd never appreciated it until I met her. Also, she looked hot with her blonde hair tipped pink.

Jenny. Jenny was pretty much exactly who I thought she'd be: classy, smart, and really fun. She's not stuck up or full of herself but she also exudes confidence. More than anything she gave me the impression that she is a loyal friend, a rock one could cling to. I really liked that.

Kathryn. Kathryn and her whole family were amazing: generous, kind, funny. Actually, Kathryn was really funny. She has a great sense of humor that I had never fully appreciated from just reading her blog. She is also sure of herself, loving, and totally open to grace. Several times I caught myself thinking, "I think she actually likes me!" and I felt so flattered. Also, watching her and Scott parent older kids was a huge blessing for me. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel and I have already adopted some of the things I saw them do well. In fact, I even caught myself using a bad Texas accent while using her words to correct my kids.

Cari. I was a dufus and forgot the whole thing about Cari not being a hugger and I hugged her. But she didn't care. She was so gracious and pretty. I've always thought of Cari as sassy but you know what, more than anything Cari is caring, warm, big-hearted. She was even better than I thought she was going to be, and I already thought she was going to be pretty great. 

Deme. When I found out that Deme was also going to be staying at Kathryn's home I had a little bit of a fangirl moment. I was maybe most nervous about meeting her because I like her blog so much and really hoped we'd hit it off. And we did! She is so easy to talk to, so generous, so kind, so fun. She's the real deal.

Susan. Spending time with Susan is like being snuggled. She was wonderful and the whole time I was with her I felt all warm and fuzzy. One of the things I most admired about Susan was the way she was honest but still protected the privacy and feelings of others. This woman has class, tact, and is not a gossip. Watching her and Kathryn interact was also really good for my soul. They are both just a few years older than me but I could tell these two moms of older kids were connecting in a way I could not and they were really supporting one another. They seemed like old friends and had just met - it was so cool. See how good God is?!

Haley. Haley is so lovely that she let me take a selfie with her tattoo and was still nice to me. Like she just laughed it off. That is a woman with a lot of charity. All kidding aside, Haley is a bit of an old soul. While still being really hip and fun she also gave me the impression that her heart is anchored to Peace and Mercy and Love.

Okay, this form of name dropping is actually exhausting. There were so many women I had the pleasure of meeting: Molly. Sarah O. Christy. Stephanie. Sarah S. Adrienne. Kate. Leticia. Heather. Amanda. Lisa. And Lisa. Heather. Lauren. Leah. Cate. Arwen. Tricia. Katie. Sarah B. Michaela. And of course Jen and Hallie. And a beautiful woman who looked like Snow White but whose name I cannot remember. 

As I've been reading everyone's summary posts from Edel I am amazed at how many of us wanted to not show up at the last minute. The fear of rejection was super strong in me and I kept thinking, "What if all these women who think they like me meet me and don't like me? What if someone does ask me when I'm due? What if all they see is how nice I don't look?" I was embarrassed for weeks over how I thought people might think. That seems pretty dumb on this side of it, but that's what I was afraid of.

That's not what it was like at all, though. Women were friendly, kind, loving. There was no cattiness. No husband bashing. No soapboxing. No judging. It was wonderful. I felt like I belonged. These were my people! Catholic women who love the Church, our vocations, and social media. It was perfect.

Thank you so very much, Jennifer and Hallie (and Joe and Dan!) for organizing this for us. May God bless you.

Finally, I had promised Jenny a mix tape in Austen and then I didn't deliver. So instead I made a playlist of the songs I would have put on a cd for her had I not dropped the (disco) ball.
Warning: there's some minor language in songs 1, 5, and 9 you may not want your 3 year old singing back to you AND videos 1, 2, and 9 should be screened before you let your kids watch them.

#1 Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
#2 Ingrid Michaelson - Girls Chase Boys
#3 Weird Al - Word Crimes
#4 Cake - Shadow Stabbing (it's on almost every mix tape I've ever made)
#5 Dierks Bentley - Drunk on a Plane
#6 Brad Paisley - River Bank
#7 June and Johnny Cash - Jackson
#8 The Head and the Heart - Cats and Dogs
#9 Twenty One Pilots - House of Gold
#10 Sam Smith - Stay with Me
#11 Sara Groves - When the Saints
#12 Mindy Gledhill - Anchor
#13 Ellie Holcomb - The Broken Beautiful

I hope you like it, Jenny!


  1. I loved the magenta dress you were wearing; you looked fab in it! Sounds like you had an amazing time!

  2. It was so lovely briefly getting to meet you! I've loved your blog since I was exposed to the Sheenazing Awards this year via Camp Patton!

  3. Oh Bonnie this was really good! And you are so lovely and wonderful in real life I'm so happy to have met you! So, so wonderful.

    And I hugged Cari like 4 times. Like an idiot because I was just so starstruck and happy to meet her. So. Good times.

  4. I love hearing about Edel. I hope to go next year :) You ladies are all so inspiring. Anyone who would make the trek from so far is inspiring. Catholic mom's are really craving community!

  5. Oops hugged Cari too! And all I kept thinking was, "I hope Bonnie likes me, I really really do." As it turns out I adore you! Thanks for putting up with all the Aggie smack. Can't wait for you to come back :)

  6. Bonnie, that dress looks gorgeous on you!!! Thanks for letting me experience Edel vicariously through you. ;-)

  7. I loved these little introductions, Bonnie! I love how you see the very best in people, then share that with others. Wished I could have shared a hug with you too at Edel, but at any rate, this is the best recap I've read yet, allowing me to "meet" some of the other ladies.

  8. I loved this post! I've been reading all the recaps and all along I just wanted to know, what are all these bloggers *really* like. Sounds like such an amazing event.

  9. So great! And now I have a bunch of new blogs to follow :)
    I sure hope I can make it next year.

  10. Oh STOP IT! You're embarrassing me!!!!! I was in awe of meeting you, the famed and fabulous Bonnie. And you know what? You're just so much more accessible than I imagined. I thought, whoa, God chose her for a miracle and she has bright red lipstick? She's going to be super holy and way beyond talking to me. You were so loving!!!

  11. Love this, great recap and intros to many of the bloggers on my list and a few I'll have to check out. Also, I think it's so "real" how you were nervous to go to Edel, you sound like a soundtrack out of my head!

  12. I can't believe you were so nervous! I was totally nervous to meet *you* and I'm kicking myself for not getting up the courage to introduce myself! I don't know why I was so intimidated. . . Hopefully next year I won't be such a wallflower :)

  13. Oh my gosh just reading the titles makes me laugh in happy anticipation!

    I've been wanting to email you all week telling you how even though I loved every single real life friend it turned out I had upon meeting last weekend, you were my favorite. Sitting next to you drinking margs on the roof, I was pretty sure we had done that a couple dozen times before. And that burgundy dress on Saturday night - you killed it. Meet you in Nebraska for another girl's night out soon?

  14. Bonnie!!! Talk about fangirl moments! Everyone knew who you were and couldn't wait to come up and hug you. I'm certain God knew what he was doing by making us roomies - I was so nervous about the whole weekend and ended up feeling so at ease with you. Something tells me that everyone who met you for the first time that weekend felt the same way.

    And I'm sorry for shoving you in the door to that intimidating cocktail party. ;)

  15. What a great recap and thanks for linking to so many of these lovely ladies to give those of us who couldn't make it a chance to go stalk them before next year.

  16. Thank you Bonnie. I don't know how else to respond to such kind words. I wish we could have spent more time together chatting and taking ridiculous pictures. If we lived in the same town I know we'd get drinks more often than we should.

  17. Okay, maybe it's a good thing that I didn't meet Cari because I'm pretty darn sure I would have been a dufus and hugged the queen of Theme Thursday and Pope Awesome too (I love that I'm not the only one that still says dufus)! Thanks for the lovely compliments, you have no idea what a blessing it was for me to spend time with you, too!!!