Do you want to hear about my morning? About the moment when the kids woke up the baby just after I finally got him to go to sleep? About how I think my eyes might have actually popped out of my head while steam exploded from my ears like a cartoon character when my attempts to outsource lunch duty ended up with a Rice Crispy apocalypse on my table?
Would you like to hear about the “I hate my life!!!!!” voicemail I left Joe that was, as usual, followed by another voicemail five minutes later where I explained that I don’t actually hate my life but I do really, really need a break from listening to crying babies and toddlers?
What? Nobody cares about my whining? Okay. How about this then:
Instead, I’ll tell you all the details of this conference that Hallie and I are putting together, and anyone who has recently had a day anything like mine can plan on telling me all about it over a margarita or a glass of lemonade when we meet up in Austin this summer.
Sound good? Here it goes:
As you may recall, we got a thunder-and-lightning-style call to host a conference a few months ago, and we spontaneously booked a venue. That venue fell through, which we now understand to be God saying: NOT FABULOUS ENOUGH. Because when we went searching for another venue, there was only one door that opened — and it flung open widely, with a neon sign demanding that we go through it. And that door was the venue of the beautiful Omni Hotel in downtown Austin.
Hallie and I are thrilled to tell you that our event is called The Edel Gathering. It is named in honor of Venerable Edel Quinn (named pronounced like “Adelle”) who was known as much for her love of fun as for her holiness.
It will be hosted at the Omni Downtown.
It will take place the weekend of July 25 – 26, 2014.
And we really want you to be there.
I’m thrilled to announce that our speakers will be:
Haley Stewart: Haley is the author of Feast!: Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year, and writes about everything from urban homesteading to natural family planning at her popular blog, Carrots for Michaelmas.
Marion Fernandez-Cueto: Marion is an award-winning journalist, brilliant writer, and masters candidate at the University of St. Thomas. She’s a convert to Catholicism who grew up in a religious community similar to the Amish, and is full of wisdom about what it means to have a strong faith throughout life’s ups and downs (this article she wrote in 2010 is one of my all-time favorites).
Jenny Uebbing: Jenny will be acting as Master of Ceremonies. She’s the content editor for Heroic Media News and a columnist for Catholic News Agency and Catholic Exchange. She writes the insightful and often hilarious blog Mama Needs Coffee. (Fun fact: the title of my book is based on a quote that I originally found on Jenny’s old blog.)
Hallie and I will also be giving talks. Right now my current plan is to get up in front of the mic, handcuff myself to the podium, and announce that I am living at this hotel for a month and the Omni can’t make me leave. It’s still in the works though — I’m open to suggestions for additional subject matter.
“You can stop there, because a conference couldn’t be any more amazing than that! It just can’t!” you say. Oh, yes, it can.
We have formed an official Edel 2014 Support Team, and that team includes these luminaries:
They will be in charge of…we’re not sure yet. Right now they’re advising us on important matters like now not to have a lame event. Other possible areas of specialty could include:
Calah: Responsible for starting The Wave during dinner.
Dwija: Loudly says, “I’m going to buy ten copies of Jen’s new book — who’s with me?!” every few minutes.
Cari: Performance of a chapter from Pope Awesome as a one-woman musical.
Ana: Receives giant trophy made of chocolate for traveling while 30 million weeks pregnant.
Brianna: In charge of complaining to the Omni if the wine has not been properly decanted.
Grace: Live demonstration of how to write a blog post with three children jumping on your laptop (we’ll hire child actors for this one).
(I think I just officially proved the “no bad ideas in brainstorming” rule false.)
This will be a weekend-long extravaganza, with a party on Friday, a daytime event on Saturday, and a Saturday dinner and reception that goes well into the evening. It will involve Tex-Mex and gourmet coffee and wine and freshly baked pastries and inspiring talks and a chance to meet a bunch of other women whose lives are just as crazy as yours.
Tickets will cost $225 and will go on sale Wednesday, February 12. You can get all the details at the official Edel Gathering website.
We know that it will involve sacrifices from your whole family for you to be able to attend. It will mean stretching both time and financial resources for you to be able to do this. We completely get that, and are in the same position ourselves. That is why we have a laser focus on creating an event that will build you up, that you’ll walk away from feeling refreshed and inspired. We want you to walk back through the door of your house filled with joy and energy to share with your entire family.
Hallie and I carefully created this event to be exactly what we need in our lives right now. We pray that it will be exactly what you need too.