Friday, March 28, 2014

"These cake pops are so good I want to say a cuss word."

About a year ago my friend Sarah invited me on an adventure. Through a couple blogs she reads she had found out about an event called Hope Spoken that would be happening in March of 2014. It was the first year for the event and it was going to be a gathering of all these Christian women writers and bloggers. I agreed that it sounded like a great idea. Then we just had to wait a year.

This morning Ben dropped Sar and I off at the airport to catch our flight. We saw a woman reading Cold Tangerines and when we sat just one row back from her I had to ask, "Are you going to Hope Spoken by chance?" Not only did she say yes but the woman across the aisle from her was going too.

We made it to the Lone Star State, got on a shuttle and checked into our hotel. We were starving by this point and in desperate need of some Diet Coke. Our hotel seems to be in an... interesting part of Dallas and the only food options we could see were Denny's and Buck's Buckin Good BBQ. Neither seemed like a great option so we took a little walk and eventually found the Taco Stop.

We tried out different specialty tacos, chips and salsa and finally found our Diet Coke. After living in the midst of an Indiana winter for the past forever, it was incredible to be in shorts and a t-shirt sitting outside at a picnic table. Sunshine is fantastic.

Hope Spoken began late this afternoon and we headed downstairs to check in. We were greeted with "Swag Bags" full of goodies, became fast friends with Annie and Sylvia who were eating cake pops and walked through the Handmade Market.

We love the look of all the flower poms, Christmas lights everywhere, cake pops galore and jars of candy. There are balloons and sequins and just so much whimsy all over the place.

We all started with worship together and were greeted by Casey, Danielle and Emily, the hosts of the weekend. These three met through blogs and just felt called to plan this weekend for all of these women. I love their vision and their hearts in all of this.

The best part of this weekend is just getting to spend time with my friend Sar. We led Young Life together in Carmel and were roommates for a year before Sar graduated and moved to Chicago to go on YL staff. I love Sar for so many different reasons and love the kind of friends that we are. I'm glad that we can have fun doing anything, sometimes feel awkward in settings but it's ok because we're together, stalk #hopespoken and all of these women's blogs, and just be content to be here.

It's a large group of women here this weekend, about 250, so they've created small groups to help facilitate and initiate relationships. Thankfully Sar and I get to be together. Our small group leader Kara is awesome and we're with about 8 other ladies. Tonight we all just shared a little bit about ourselves and what we're hoping to get out of the weekend.

The last thing of the night was a concert from Tim Halperin. I've been listening to him on YouTube the past couple of days while my students have been working in the computer lab. I'd call myself a fan at this point and was happy to recognize some of my favorites of his tonight like The Last Song, Dear Sophie, I Wanna Fall In Love and Memories On The Ground. He's worth checking out. 

Casey's husband Chris has been working on a documentary for the last year called American Blogger. He traveled around the country interviewing different women about their blogs and this writing culture and community. Tonight they debuted the trailer for the film. Sar and I decided we'll definitely go see it when it's released.

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