(Apologies for super long post, but there’s a lot going on around here. )
This is feeling like one of the Best Weekends Ever! It all started with Friday’s official announcement of the SHAPE magazine Blogger Award nominations. Yours truly has been nominated (yours truly knows not the who or how of it all) in the category of Inspiring Weight Loss Blogs.
Most of you know that I’m not especially competitive and don’t covet any awards (not counting a Pulitzer and/or The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes). I could easily name two dozen (or more!) blogs that were far more deserving,
including in addition to the 19 other blogs nominated in this category. (edited for better mathematical sensibility)
Anyway, I’ll try not to go overboard with the award chatter. I’m not particularly good at self-promotion and social media campaigns (and I’m not likely to start now), but I’m both grateful and humbled to have my little blog included in the roster. Since SHAPE was kind enough to include me, I do need to mention it now and then. They even sent me a snazzy little badge for my sidebar which I’ll also tag onto a few posts throughout the contest. Like now:
There. That was fairly easy. Clicking on it will take you to the voting page, where you will find a list of the other nominated blogs. Be sure to check them out–there are a lot of incredible stories out there! Find one you like and show her some bloggy love! (And to those of you who showed me the love–thank you!)
While you’re checking things out, here’s a fun game: see how many bloggers you can identify just from the teensy thumbnail photos shown just below the featured blogger. It’s fun (I’m easily entertained), but unfortunately, while guessing I figured out that I am the oldest blogger in the group–by A LOT! I suspect I’m also the only one currently engrossed in a Cake Day Challenge. (Don’t tell SHAPE; that may disqualify me. While I may not care about winning, I’d hate to be thrown out for Conduct Unbecoming. OR for being too old.)
Okay, so I found out about the SHAPE thing a few weeks ago but didn’t learn it was official until Friday…just as I was headed out the door for a Very Special Weekend. You can’t wait to find out what was so special about it, can you? I should probably string it out until tomorrow, but to be honest, I can’t wait to tell you!
I just spent the better part of the weekend with, not one, not two, but THREE amazing bloggerwomen!
You probably recognize them, but just in case, allow me to introduce. From left to right, we have Sharon from Gains and Losses: Life Through Sharon’s Eyes, Yours Truly (a.k.a. the luckiest person you know), Michele, currently on hiatus from Healthy Cultivations; and Karen, from Waisting Time.
You can see where today’s post title comes from now, right? I’ve long been an admirer of each of these women but had never met them in person until this weekend. I am feeling truly lucky that time and circumstance (and some handy Marriott Rewards Points) allowed me to spend a couple nights in Little Rock in their company.
We convened Friday evening. Karen & Sharon graciously allowed us to use their suite–complete with fireplace and comfy sitting area–for our mini-blogger conference. As you might expect from a gathering of people who mostly haven’t ever met, there was an initial period of awkward silence–hah! NOT! We started jabbering from the very first moment and didn’t stop until we parted company this morning. LOL These are definitely new friends who feel very, very much like old friends.
Throughout the weekend, we talked about all things blogging as well as weight loss/maintenance. We shared tips and tricks, joys and frustrations, plans and dreams, and so on. We didn’t just sit around and talk, though. On Saturday, we ventured into downtown Little Rock, where we walked and talked, rode a trolley and talked, shopped the farmers’ market and talked, and then had lunch and talked.
And what do weight-and-fitness-conscious bloggers eat?
For our lunch-and-talk, we ate at Dizzy’s Grill and Bistro downtown, a fun and funky place with interesting art and good food. I had the Melancholy Saladness with raspberry vinaigrette pictured in the lower right. I was a little hyper-focused on my lunch and didn’t really notice what the others had, but it sure looks tasty from this vantage point!
After lunch, to my dismay, we did NOT get to go to my suggested next stop:
Could you deny that face? (Ignore the squish belly when you answer that.) Despite going in and drooling all over the display case of the Brown Sugar Bakeshop, we didn’t order anything. Not even the red velvet chess squares! We deserve a medal, don’t you think? (Note to Brown Sugar people: I shall return when I am not full of Melancholy Saladness!)
After returning to Command Central (the Sharon-Karen suite) for some more talk, we wanted a simple and light dinner so we headed to Panera. The weather for the weekend was gorgeous and we were able to dine alfresco…and then linger for more easy conversation in the twilight. We just missed what looked like a great sale at the running store next door; they had closed by the time we realized it was there. Their loss. Dangerously, the Orange Leaf Yogurt shop across the parking lot was still open. My mouth wanted it; my belly was full from my tuna sandwich. Maybe next time. If I don’t fill up on red velvet chess squares, that is.
We met up again this morning for a last bit of chatting before saying good-bye. I, for one, would have really enjoyed at least one more day. Or a week.
For me, this weekend was so much more personally relevant than all of the blog conferences I’ve attended. While I’ve met some wonderful bloggers at the other conferences, the connection with this group was incredibly powerful and uplifting. (They reminded me of my beloved fellow Danger Girls, only without the car crashing through the wall.) For every difference in approach or thought, our quests are the same–improvement and progress, whatever our definition of that is. Their stories, insights, and opinions are illuminating and motivating…and appreciated. I learned something important from each of these special women. I’m still trying to process it all. Our next meet-up–and we all agree there will be one–can’t come soon enough! (Thanks to the LR crew for one awesome weekend, for allowing me to use your photos, AND for letting me keep tabs on the ballgame Friday night!)
As crazy as it seems, that wasn’t all the wonderful stuff that happened this weekend! I’ll share more as I process that, but for now I’m just going to sit and enjoy my good fortune as I drift off to sleep.