Saturday, March 10, 2012

Humilspiration (Blogger Event)

   Yes, I am pretty sure that's a real word.

(hyoo-mil-spur-A-shun), noun
A luscious blend 
of humility and inspiration
resulting from gentle exposure 
to brilliant, accomplished people
who are willing to share their passion. 

   It's what happened to me last Saturday when a small, cozy group of Oklahoma bloggers convened right here at our little farm for a few hours of chatting, nibbling edibles, and soaking up each others' experiences. It was wonderful in every way.

   Honestly, I am still not sure how in the heck I scored an invite since every other woman there has been blogging far longer than me and has established herself in various ways both professionally and in the blogging community. But I am ever so grateful to Kelly from the Red Dirt Chronicles for her thoughtfulness.

Here are Kelly and Dee strolling with cameras and kind words.

   Early on in the event's planning stages I stuck my neck out and offered to host, trying to conceal the truth that I just meant to cement my attendance. I mean, eventually someone was bound to realize this *crazy* Lazy W lady was pretending to fit into the "real bloggers" club and then promptly revoke my welcome card. Have you ever seen Catch Me if You Can? Kind of like that. But if I was hosting, well... then my chances for retaining my invite just greatly improved.

Several home made dishes and decadent bakery luxuries filled the table that day.

   Anyway, the other eight women who joined in on Saturday were just dazzling in every way. About another eight were invited and had to decline, but I know they would have dazzled me too. I certainly look forward to meeting them eventually.

I can still smell the sugar...

   You may remember that last Saturday was a drop dead gorgeous day in Oklahoma. Bright sunshine, warm skin, cool breezes. As everyone arrived one by one and trickled down the driveway, we mingled outside and fed treats to the animals. Mia the gander bonded suddenly and passionately to Rose, one of the loveliest and warmest people you will ever meet. She has recently revived her blog Rose Rock Oklahoma, and I am so glad she did. Go find her post on International Women's Day!
   But Mia was rude and inappropriate with Brooke. (So sorry for that.. but Pacino did think it was funny.)

Here are Laura and Brooke are getting acquainted with Pacino the macaw, 
and moments later Brooke suffered some unwanted aggression from Mia the gander.

   I had the very real pleasure of meeting Sonya of Beyond the Screen Door, a woman whose exceptional seamstress work and talent for combining unexpected fabrics has been inspiring me for a long time.

I had to apply every ounce of self control in my body
to *not* ask Sonya, pictured here chatting with Allison,
her opinion on a fabric idea for my kitchen.
She is so gracious, I would have ended up taking advantage of her.

   Another guest was a kind of local celebrity, Katie from Dishin and Dishes. She is a food blogger who appears weekly on Rise and Shine Oklahoma. She is also in the final stages of writing a book surveying all the best local restaurants in Oklahoma! This will definitely be on my Christmas shopping list next December.

Here are Rose Marie and Katie, two fabulous women 
who first forged an acquaintance on Twitter 
then had lunch together the week after this event!
I almost cropped this photo, but if you look closely 
at the bottom you will see Mia, 
the gander who chooses people to love. 
This day he had his sights on Rose, loud and clear. 

   Allison is the super energetic talent behind Refunk My Junk. All of her ideas are fresh and pretty, and she makes it seem doable! Love that. If you're in OKC, you can find her wares over at The Feathered Nest. We also discovered that she and Handsome worked for the same big box bank once upon a time. Cool!

Allison is* hilarious* to listen to
and her style really flows over into her blog. 
(Stripper glitter, anyone?)
I managed to snap a photo of her during 
exactly the four seconds she wasn't smiling and making friends!
So sorry, but it's kind of my talent.

   Dee is the talent behind the curtain at Red Dirt Ramblings. Her topic of focus is my not so private obsession, gardening... Oooh la la... Plus she has spun her skills and knowledge into a full blown writing career. This is what I am talking about, you guys! These things are actually possible! After some note trading and chatting, Dee and I noticed that her children are attending my high school Alma mater, Mount Saint Mary in south Oklahoma City. Small, beautiful world where we live, huh?

   Laura is a young, gorgeous professional who has been stylishly chronicling her home renovations over at The Steen Style. She is one of those women whose smile is bright and whose energy is contagious. In fact, she arrived at the Bloggers' Ball (as it was cheerfully dubbed) with another lovely young woman, Brooke, and we all assumed they were lifelong friends. Not so! They had only met in 3-D that morning, on the way to the Lazy W. How's that for making connections real?
   Brooke has been writing Rural Gone Urban for a while and recently launched a brand spankin new site for Chickasaw Country. Very exciting. Now she's writing a children's book, so keep your eye on her!

   These ladies showered me lavishly with unnecessary but much appreciated hostess gifts. The funny thing is they didn't know it's also my birthday week, woo-hoo! 

   After we pressed the clock for every spare minute sharing stories, ideas, questions, and hopes for the future of our little group, everyone said goodbye and drove away from the farm. I was literally stunned into silence. Not the normal post-party fervor or exhaustion, just a wonderful, bizarre sense of possibility. 

Possibility for my blog.
Possibility for Oklahoma, my heart's homeland.  
Possibility for the universal experiences 
of creativity and sharing.

   I could barely speak for about fifteen minutes. See... each of these women started blogging for intensely personal reasons (like me) and each has gradually discovered her voice, mission, and platform in her own unique way. Now they are evolving unapologetically and sharing those mindful resources.   Collectively these bloggers were an ocean of knowledge on IT and had a firm grasp on social media, all of which is crazy useful to me. But their greatest gifts were openness and drive.

Kelly's Twitter stream of most quotable remarks during the session was priceless.
"Blog drunk, edit sober." Solid advice, ladies. Solid.

   In a nutshell, it was one of those times when life shows you exactly how much you don't know but simultaneously offers you a chance to learn it all. And to learn it through some really delicious connections.

   I am whole heartedly looking forward to the next event and expect to see some of you between now and then, too. Thanks again for visiting the Lazy W, thanks for the gifts, thanks for the generous exchanges. Best wishes to everyone this spring and summer!

Birds of a Feather Can Still Be Mighty Different.
And That is Very Good.


  1. I'm crying reading this - what a wonderful event. And you should never, ever, never feel humbled. Your blog is an inspiration to many of us. I look forward daily to seeing what you and your menagerie have been up to.

    One day, one day, my friend, we will be at a blogging event together.

  2. What a wonderful experience! This is so awesome. I hope I have an opportunity to attend something like this someday!

  3. I LOVED reading this! It brought back all the lovely memories of the day. It was such a great time together and I agree I came away full of possibilities!
    And next time...ASK AWAY! I always enjoy discussing decorating projects. In fact send me some pics if you'd like! I'd love to help!

  4. What a wonderful event! I got to spend some time at The Lazy W the next day and the farm was still buzzing with the energy generated from this Blogger's Ball. I hope some of it rubs off on me. ;-)

  5. How neat to have a get together with other fellow bloggers... Of course Mia the Gander Gigolo flirting it up with the

  6. Marie,

    You were such a sweet hostess to all of us and I felt so blessed that day. I can honestly say it changed my life. Of course, MIA changed my life. lol From the peaceful land, the farm animals, your beautiful home to your sweet spirit...I think I have a girl crush on you! I can't wait for us to get together again and your blog is heavenly!


  7. Was a lovely day together! LOVED your place and would love to visit again Marie! I enjoyed each and every person's different perspective and our sharing time! Thank you for hosting us and this is a wonderful post!

  8. Thanks for sharing this great article, I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, awesome stuff!

    Kitchen cabinets oklahoma city


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