getting along famously: part deux

so after a few adventures along the way (read part un and intermission here), i finally showed up to the park for the mommy blogger gathering that MckMama was hosting. jesse refused to come to a mommy blogger event (plus he was at the youth conference at this point). so naturally, who do you think came with me and the bug?

it's lena. doysville. i remember thinking, "too bad lena has to pin her bangs back and they cant be all hot and down like mine." hmmm, its seems that i needed a mirror.

even with the support of lena (which was MIGHTY and i would have NEVER survived the day without her help) i almost chickened out like 4 times before leaving the car. i just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that i was going to a mommy blogging event. in real life. where other people could see me. it was like admitting out loud that this is something i actually do. not that i am embarrassed, it's just, you know, i'm cool and mommy blogging doesn't scream cool the way my recently retired old navy maternity jeans do (that's for you, portia).

we got to the pavilion and there were a few dozen other people there already. i immediately spotted MckMama with a good 5 or 6 women hovering around waiting to talk/take pics as well as several of her adorable kiddos running around. it was quite weird to feel like you know a 4 year old so well that you can just go right up and say, "hey kieran, did you like that rainbow birthday cake your mom made a few weeks ago?" because you read about them weekly and then you realize he has no clue who you are and is alarmed and you are instantly creepy. luckily i did not do this.

lena and i filled out the welcome sheet and got name tags for ourselves and judah. we put our dip down on the table, got plates of our own...including pieces of cookie cake that we sawed through using a plastic fork and our frozen fingers (we would NOT be denied the cookie cake with m&m's). while we were inhaling the cake i turned around and mckmama was right there.

ok i know it wasn't like i was meeting michelle obama or anything, but it is still surreal to come face to face with someone you've only ever seen on tv or online because no matter if it's true or not, you only really see them as a big ol' celebrity. at best it was like meeting someone you have been talking to on eHarmony for months and are face to face with for the first time.

we said hi and introduced ourselves and judah and she was like, "i LOVE the name judah, i begged my husband [whose name is Isreal] to let us name one of our sons that, but he said no." now we were flowing. right as i was delivering my hilarious and biblically accurate follow-up joke, "well, you already have an isreal and you wouldn't want the northern and southern kingdoms starting holy wars at your house" (delightfully nerdtastic. i am shivering with restrained glee as i type this), her 3 year old son, cullen came up to tell her he had to use the bathroom. CURSES! the unforeseen call of the child! she said excuse me and that she'd be right back.

so lena and i sat down at a picnic table to watch it all unfold and wait for the friendship with mckmama to come naturally. i didn't want to bug her or make her feel like she had to rush through another conversation because i was hovering nearby waiting for a "turn." judah was passed out at this point and about 100 times warmer than i was in just a t-shirt and rainproof shell so we were content to hang out just me and lena and observe the intricacies of a blogging event.

and i am sure that judah's hair, no matter what it looked like under the hat, was way better looking than mine. (that's stellan in the background with the reflective jacket!)

no matter how patient we were, as time passed it was clear we would have to go bold and be aggressive and wait in one of the little constant clusters around jennifer (mckmama's real name) to get to talk to her again. there were 3 or 4 superfans who seemed to always be right there to talk to her if there was ever a space in her conversations and i was getting frustrated that these people were hogging her.

then just as we were losing hope, she came right over and put down her plate next to us! and said she was starving and hadn't eaten all day. yes. captive to us by her hunger! and she picked our table! she went back to the food table for something, and between getting food for her kids and talking to other folks she never came back.

i was extra bummed because almost the whole time she had stellen, her true medical miracle one year old adorable son, in a sling-type thing just like judah was and it would have been the perfect picture and by this point she had taken him out to let him walk around. drat!

well judah finally woke up after a good two hour nap in the sling so we fed him (formula, yikes! i was a little nervous about being cast out for not breastfeeding) and played with him and put socks on his now-exposed hands because this is georgia and i didn't buy baby mittens.

lena taking care of the bug, as always
so panic fully set in when it started getting dark and everyone was cleaning up and heading out. jennifer was loading her many small children into strollers so lena said, screw it, we gotta make this happen. she grabbed our stuff and on the way out i went up to her to thank her for giving up a full day of her family's vacation to spend with people like us. i told her that her post on submission in marriage immediately changed the course of mine forever.
i told her how amazing it was that stellan, who they were told wouldn't survive outside the womb and who she had actually watched flatline before her eyes just 2 or 3 weeks prior was now sitting here in front of us a 100% normal, healthy-hearted little one year old boy. even after 3 hours of probably hearing the exact same thing she was so gracious and genuine and on my level about figuring this stuff out as she goes. she even said she was sorry she never got a chance to talk longer with us!

so i got my picture with her in the end and even those little snippets of conversation were enough to make me feel like i actually know her. even though it was a mind job and i may have lost some cool points, it was totally worth going to a blogfest to get to meet this amazing mom of 4 kids 4 and under who inspires so many.

and the intrepid lena even got a picture of stellan being fed a bottle by his mom. see? even the most hippie of mommies uses a stroller and bottle sometimes!
i thought i was the biggest procrastinator ever for taking so long to post this conclusion, but it was destiny. mckmama herself just posted the pictures from the gathering yesterday! and look who's at the tippy top! i'm freakin!
she asked everyone who was there to send her pictures since she didn't get to take any and i felt pretty self-centered that i only had taken one of myself and her rather than of the gathering in general. she wrote me the nicest personal email in response, on thanksgiving day no less, saying how she loved the pic and wished she could have gotten ahold of judah and she even thanked me for sharing about my marriage (she remembered!) and apologized for not getting more time to chat. ok. yup. love her.


  1. That is so freakin awesome! and nice photo on her blog!!

  2. ummmm. amazing. i missed being in ga for it by one weekend. so would have gone with you.