Saturday, January 24, 2009

Girls Night Out. . .and the Morning After

"Wow" is an understatement for the whirlwind trip I took to Houston Thursday and Friday. If I didn't have pictures, I'd wonder if I dreamed the whole thing!

Xandra and I had a wonderful lunch together. I'm sure you will be relieved to know we settled all the current political, social, and spiritual issues swirling through our society. All while enjoying The Olive Garden's soup and salad. And it did not go unnoticed by me that Xandra steered clear of the breadsticks while I could not resist their soft, buttery goodness. Maybe that's why Xandra is looking really good in her diet & exerciese quest and I'm looking pleasingly particularly plump in the pictures.

After I took her back to work, I had 3 wonderful hours to do a little shopping, read awhile at Barnes & Noble, and enjoy the wonderful spring winter day in Houston (sunny & 76 degrees!) before I went to the airport to pick up none other than Lisa, The Preacher's Wife! What a blast to have the opportunity to just hang out together. We had a fantastic Mexican food dinner at Gringo's, and I was able to educate Lisa that in Texas we eat queso, not cheese dip!

When we got to the church we met up with Missy, who was volunteering at the event. (Be sure to read her post about the event, which she writes in her trademark style and details how I finagled staying at her house as well as her wardrobe malfunction!)

Girls Night Out itself was great. Lysa TerKeurst and Renee Swope were incredible, as always. Kate Gosselin's testimony was touching and God-honoring. Ayiesha Woods, whose CD I got to give away last fall, and Jason Catron, provided fantastic music. We were sitting near Melanie and Amanda and enjoyed chatting with them and Missy during the intermission.

And for the record, Amanda, who like every other 8+ month pregnant woman, thinks she's huge, is darling and tiny. In fact, I decided when I saw some of the pictures that maybe I shouldn't have bought that cute purple shirt at Kohl's. I guess the style is called baby doll for a reason! (Not that breadsticks, queso, or flautas have contributed at all. . . !)

Afterwards, we waited for the book-signing line to dissipate and then had some fun talking with Lysa and Renee, Lysa's assistant (Holly - who is so sweet!), and some other new bloggy friends. Renee and Lysa are just as precious up close and personal as they seem in blogland and on stage. Lots of hugs and laughter. Of course Missy's wardrobe malfunction contriibuted to the fun. . . .! (And she's just as much fun inside out as right side in!)

And there were other bloggy friends to meet and chat with: Paula from Wrinkled Shirts, Sandy from God Speaks Today, Shelly from My Life on the Wild Side, Lindsey from A New Life (she's only been blogging a few months, so go encourage her!), Vern from Inspired Looks. What great gals they all are! I don't have near enough to do (hah!) and look forward to hanging out at their blogs.

Our visions of slumber party fun vanished as we staggered back to Missy's barely able to keep our eyes open. I knew I was too old for this when I began to wonder if I was going to be taking my bedtime pills at the same time as my getting-up pills!

I took Lisa back to the airport dark and early for her 7:00 AM flight. Then I headed for the hotel where Lysa had invited the bloggy bunch to join her for breakfast. Which (yawn!) wasn't for 2 hours.

I have never ever rented a hotel room by the hour in my life, but I was sorely tempted after less than 3 hours of sleep! I settled for reading on a couch in the lobby. I might have dozed off once. Or twice.

But it was so worth the exhaustion. Breakfast was a wonderful blessing. (And I got to hug Renee as she left for the airport to head home before the breakfsat. And I saw Lysa's beautiful teen-age daughter, who also was traveling home with Renee.) Lysa is down-to-earth and as real as can be. It's so easy to feel intimidated by Women Who Are In Ministry And Speak To Audiences and feel insignificant compared to them. But there was no sense of superiority or condescension from Lysa. She is delightful and encouraging and just plain fun!

Here are my pictures:

I managed to make it back to my MIL's and conked out for a bit so I could safely make the 3 hour drive home and avoid Melanie's fate.

Oh, and that little caffeine fast I was on? That soooo went by the wayside while I was down there! A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!


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2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Fun stuff! thanks for taking pics. And I love the purple top.

Big Mama said...

It was so great to see you and get to hang out for a little while live and in person!

A Stone Gatherer said...

What fun!!!!

Amanda said...

It was so much fun! I loved getting to hang out with y'all!

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Hi Sweetie!!!

Thanks for the memories! Had a great time and loved meeting you. My e-mail is on my profile...but I can put it here.

Now that I see your "profile pic" I totally know who you are. :) The name didn't ring a bell, but those two little cups of coffee are not easily forgotten.

I'll post my stuff this week.


sara said...

What a great time!! I looks like you had a lot of the usually takes me a week after ONE night of no sleep!!!

Sandy @Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Wow what fun! I loved seeing the pictures. I can't you believe you were such a wonder woman and got so little sleep. But what a neat thing to meet all the blog ladies, and have a great, gigglin time together. :) :)

Beverlydru said...

I loved the post and the pictures. I really wanted to bethere but it;s tto many states away. You included me by sharing all this wonderfulness. Thanks!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I had such a good time solving the world's problems with you at lunch. It's really too bad we don't live just a little bit closer.

Looks like a good time was had by all, and although I'm sorry I wasn't able to participate, part of me is glad that I was safely in bed and asleep by 9:00 Thursday night!


Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

It was so great having time to hang for a while!! Thanks again for taking such great care of me..:)))

Shelly W said...

It was great to meet you, Linda! Wasn't breakfast special? I'm looking forward to keeping up with you.

Edie said...

Looks like a great time! I came over from Lisa's blog.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Linda, you can sleep in Shep's room ANY TIME!! Had so much fuN!!


Renee Swope said...

Linda, it was so good to see you - again!!! I loved being able to put your face with your name now. Isn't it funny how we'd met a few years ago in Austin before I knew you as "Mocha with Linda"?!

Thank you so much for taking care of and getting Lisa to the event. She told me a friend had offered to be pick her up, go with her and bring her back, then another had offered a place to stay but I didn't know who the friends were until that night. I just loved seeing all the pieces coming together.

You are such an encourager with a big ole servant's!!! Thank you for your sweet card and Starbuck's treat and the hug on Friday morning before I dashed to the airport. I wish I could've joined you all for breakfast.

Love all the photos!!! I hope to post some on my blog now that I am recuperated and can write a complete sentence again :->.


lisasmith said...

I got to go to Girls Day Out and meet Lysa and Renee there. Isn't it fun when bloggy world and real world collide?

I'm getting to meet so many fun gals by clicking around to those who attended.

It was a really great day!! Nice to meet you.

Lisa writes... said...

What fun!

B His Girl said...

I stopped by from Lysa's. Enjoyed the photos. How fun to be a part of this. Blessing to you. b