Only one year to go until Blissdom ’11 – Part 1


When I got back to Alabama from Blissdom, my boys squeeled, ran, and jumped. It was like a movie. I fell under their tackle, and then Ian licked me up one side of my face and down the other. It was messy.

Seth and I had been apart way too long, so I packed us up as soon as I could, started down the mountain, and then winter got surprisingly pushy, unannouncingly agressive. Within four minutes, the road was ice, the sky a white blur, and cars were acting like ballerinas. I had to turn back, and oh the aching for Seth grew.

Now I’m home with him.  My toothbrush slid into the cup next to his. (This is where I’d like to insert a happy jumping imoticon with eyebrows that raise up and down.)

Blissdom this year was all grown up. It was serious, a machine, a party with heart. It was beautiful. It was at Gaylord Opryland Hotel, a giant building that feels a little like the Shining, but it was gorgeous and clean and lent itself well to my need for exercise.

I got to see so many of my (in)courage girlfriends, and that within itself was such an affirming thing. They really are my sisters. We all went to breakfast one morning, and there Kristen and I happy-cried together. I’m sure I could have done that with them all. My homegirls, Holley and Stephanie (we’re all in NWArkansas), can throw a serious get-together, too.

{photo by DawnMHSH}

When someone is so close to your heart, you’ll find something tangible to hold or view just to feel all the nearer – it’s just a skin response. I know it’s true because I carry a note with me everywhere I go from a dear one who wasn’t there. I know it because I thought about wearing my posy pin on my pajamas. These pictures, too, remind me of the ones I love, the ones who believe in me and the ones I envision with futures full of greatness.

A sister from the beginning, SaraSophia {photo by chatting at the sky}

In a rut of no sleep, I fell to tears repeatedly while at Blissdom. In one episode, I was having lunch with some amazing ladies. I looked at  my Emily (yes, mine) and began to cry. I could barely get it out of my mouth that I knew I would watch her do great things. When we said goodbye, she cried and said the same thing back to me. It’s like if she says it, then I believe it.

UPDATE:

even blurry, she's gorgeous

Stephanie from Adventures in Babywearing is such a fun friend, one of those who should never give me her phone number lest I call her daily and talk her head off.

Oh me. Look at this. Robin from Pensieve is always my roomie. I don’t know what I’d do without her, even on a regular basis, much less at a conference. Besides, no party is decent without her, no late-night talk even worth the breath.

Arianne from To Think is To Create is a woman with discernment and with words of wisdom. There’s something sweet Jesusy about us. We dream about each other. One time in prayer for her, I saw Jesus’ hands. She goes to Him for me, too. Those are real friends. And see our necklaces, the ones from Uganda, hand-rolled magazines made beautiful beads?  They’re gorgeous.

SaraSophia from Tout-est-des-roses, I mentioned her earlier, my sister. She could have grown up just down the road from me. She knows my same home sounds. She, in fact, feels like home, and one day, we’re going to have a porch-singing together – I just know it.

I have so much more to say and show about this confernnce, especially about my sessions. For now I need to mother and get over some icky throat thing, and I’m also learning how to use a PC. I just broke up with Apple for eating all my babies’ photographs. Yes. I hear your resounding Booooooo. Thank you.

amberhaines
About me

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26 Comments

Heather of the EO
Reply February 10, 2010

I feel all weepy and I wasn't even there. I just get it.

And yes, I'm BOOOING over the lost pictures! nooooo.

P.S. I must go to Blissdom next year. Must.

    Amber
    Reply February 10, 2010

    OK, Heather, you know what? I need you in my life in real life like pronto, like yesterday. (And CLarity Chaos, too. Shoot. Throw in some Mylestones, and I'd be so so glad.)

Kristen
Reply February 10, 2010

I love you so so much, Sister-friend.

    Amber
    Reply February 10, 2010

    Dear Kristen,
    Believe me. I love you, too. I loved our breakfast. I know we've all said it, but it was such the highlight to me - our conversation in particular. I let got to love on Lora Lynn from Vitafamiliae.com, and that was so good, too.

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience
Reply February 10, 2010

I have missed you.

So.

    Amber
    Reply February 10, 2010

    Dear Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience,

    Did you know that from my session seat up in front of a big time microphone I told everybody to read "aholyexperience.com aholyexperience.com" and then people clapped? Did you know that?

    I have missed you so. More.

    And I'm not just saying that.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply February 10, 2010

What a beautiful conference. I wasn't even there, but I feel the love and camaraderie spilling over the recap posts.

I agree with Heather: Next year in Jerusalem.

(Welcome HOME!)

    Amber
    Reply February 10, 2010

    Dear Kelly @ Love Well,
    THank you.

    I really am so glad to be back.

Lisa B @ simply His
Reply February 10, 2010

I'm all weepy too :( I'm so sad I wasn't able to be there and share in just one late-night talk with you and Robin. I so want to sit and listen to you -- I agree with Emily, you are going to do great things. You already have! Guess I'm going to have to schedule a motorcycle trip to Arkansas -- after the snow and ice melts of course! :)

    Amber
    Reply February 10, 2010

    Dear Lisa B @ simply His,

    You know we have a huge cycling community role out here now and then. At Bikes, Blues, and BBQ, there are aound 750,000 motorcycles here.

    Please come!

    I wish you could have been there, too. I thought about you a bunch.

Adventures In Babywearing
Reply February 10, 2010

I didn't give you my phone number? Are you sure?

You can call me anytime.

Steph

    Amber
    Reply February 10, 2010

    Oh, you know what? You gave it to me last year at Blissdom. What in the world! Consider your face talked off in advance - except right now my throat hurts, so maybe later.

thegypsymama
Reply February 10, 2010

Oh, how this post makes me wish I could have been there to hug you all with arms, hands, and neck rather than just words!

Dreaming of a next time,

Lisa-Jo

rachel
Reply February 10, 2010

*sigh*

I wish I could hug you again.

As soon as my check comes in, I'm buying a back up drive.

I got chills when Robin showed me that text from you.
xoxoxo

emily
Reply February 10, 2010

I just. Can't. Take. The wait.

blissdom '11 ? I'm not gonna make it.

Corinne
Reply February 10, 2010

This warmed my heart...
and made me ache to be there :)

Bridget
Reply February 10, 2010

I'm so glad I met you right before you left. I wish I'd had a chance to get to know you, and I'm so excited about your new-t0-me blog!
Love love love your writing!

Cassie Boorn
Reply February 10, 2010

So glad you made it home safe. :)

Sara Sophia
Reply February 10, 2010

You are for me, and I am for you.
Just, love.
Love and Jesus.

The best friendships always have a healthy helping of both:)

Your Spirit Sister,
Sara Sophia

To Think Is To Create
Reply February 10, 2010

How do we all have each other ? I read these words and fight back the ugly cry. Because I'm happy and because I'm sad, but mostly because I feel so blessed. Blessed because of the internet that brings us all together, and blessed because of the storms that bring us even closer.

I know I can weather any storm with my sisters around me, truly (and literally) showing me Jesus when I am low, and celebrating Him together when those miracles happen (and they will).

I have some ideas on how to recover some things from the hard drive, will email ya.

Teresa
Reply February 11, 2010

I loved your post and so hope I can go next time......

Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms
Reply February 11, 2010

So glad you were able to love on your gal pals, Amber! It sounds like you got some lovin' in return.

I'm pretty sure you are younger than me, but I still want to write like you when I grow up.

Have a beautiful day!

Megan@SortaCrunchy
Reply February 11, 2010

Beautiful women, beautiful souls. So glad you are home safe and sound. Take care of that temple, mama.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Reply February 11, 2010

These photos make my heart ache and yet, so happy, all at the same time. I've missed you xo

Terri
Reply February 11, 2010

I so enjoyed your part 1 & 2 review of blissdom! Since I wasn't there, it is interesting to read the different perspectives and see familiar faces in group photos all around blogland. I am soooo sad for your pictures! If you are interested in a suggestion for software to manage photos, let me know. Blessings!

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home
Reply February 12, 2010

Isn't it a beautiful thing that people who are separated by distances can find each other online, and then connect in real life? Loved seeing you again. :-)

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