okay. i have started this post in my mind SO many times and i honestly do not know where to begin.
cha is so overwhelming. in a really good way. but man, it's overwhelming.
it's big. and there are a LOT of people. many of them are people i've always wanted to meet.
many of them are the SWEETEST blog readers ever.
i met so many amazing women. my mind is still reeling.
and here's another thing…working a booth at a show is a lot different than walking around during a show.
four years ago i walked and this time i worked. man…i don't think i've EVER been so tired in my life. again, a wonderful tired. i'm never quite prepared!
i'm not sure how to recap, so i think i'll just recap each day.
oh…and while i did get some pictures, there are many i did NOT get. if you were one of the new friends i met can you please send me a photo if you have one? i was talking so much i wasn't concentrating on photo taking. hahaha!
i left (out of boston) at about 8 am on friday. it was a six hour flight to san francisco and i had an entire row to myself.
if you haven't read mindy kaling's book READ IT NOW. it's the first book since tina fey's bossypants that has made me laugh out loud.
repeatedly. on a plane. like an idiot. it's fabulous.
i got to know the flight attendant and she snuck me baileys and coffee several times. might have been the best flight ever.
i had a tiny layover then on to anaheim.
i met up with my friends may and lisa at the airport then it was time to head to the convention center to do some work.
that's my boss (jason) sitting on the floor. we had books to cover in tape and paper, layouts to hang, and lots of other random work to do.
yes, that's a washi covered bike in the first photo. and yes, jason knows he put the wheel on backwards. HA!
we worked for a couple of hours and then i met some friends at p.f. changs for dinner.
and apparently long flights, lack of eating, and jet lag make me a cheap date. two glasses of wine and i was looking out of one eye.
it was a wonderful way to start my trip. and the beginning of the end as far as losing my voice. hehehe!
started with the biggest fruit and yogurt parfait i've ever seen in my life. true story.
and it was on to the convention center. i met up with lisa first (who may be one of my favorite people ever).
and the rest of this day is a BLUR. i honestly mean that.
i met so many of my favorite people. women who i have looked up to (professionally and personally) for so many years.
half of them i didn't get photos with.
i got to see my friend veronica from chic crafts. this was her first year at cha and i am so proud of her.
i met elle from elle's studio and kristen from lily bee and all of the amazing ladies at maya road. no pictures with them, either.
i met angie (hi angie!!) the sweetest blog reader ever, and i talked to her daughters on the phone.
i met so many other amazingly kind blog readers that it made my heart so full.
here are some other friends i caught up with on the first day…these actually have photographic proof.
finally met my sweet friend liz in person and it was such a treat.s she's beautiful and sweet and just lovely.
meeting another liz i admire so much. i am so dang excited that she is doing a paper project life version. i think it just might be enough to get me doing pl again.
hanging out with ali. she said we needed a picture in our dresses. she looked amazing. talk about knocking 'em dead.
i met sweet diana who i feel like i've known through my blog forever-
the day ended with happy hour with these lovely ladies:
she is everything i knew she would be. love her.
back at the booth for more talking, photo taking (i'll share product photos in another post), and networking.
i loved working with the mme crew by the way. i could not possible work for (and with) a better group of people.
it was funny because the mme booth is generally all guys (except for jen allyson now and then, and marcia- the owner). but they come and go and aren't in the booth the entire time.
when people met me they'd say "oh no, you don't work for my mind's eye, they don't hire girls". HA!
this is me and marcia. i had a ball talking to her. she's pretty much the best boss ever.
i laughed and talked all day long. surrounded by awesome product. how can that not be my dream job?
my longtime friend jana francis (founder of the steals network) stopped by to say hi.This photo is actually from day one of the show but since I spent way more time talking to her on day 2, I'm putting it here.
so did todd and brook from creating keepsakes events (they make me laugh so hard).
i had my first tim tam ever…YUM.
then i decided to walk around a little bit.
i ran into celine navarro, so pretty this one is.
then i stopped by jenni bowlin's booth for the 9238402384028 time.
yeah, yeah yeah. i know you've heard me talk about her a zillion times over the years.
but i mean it. she is my favorite person in this industry. always has been, always will be.
she is the epitome of graciousness,kindness, and genuineness.
and i'll probably say it a zillion more times in the future.
we hadn't seen each other since i was newly pregnant with the twins, so it was great to catch up.
heidi swapp's booth was next to jenni's so i stopped by to say hi.
she said we needed a photo of our shoes because they showed how different we are. hahaha!
then i had to say hi to two of the most adorable ladies…yes they are really this precious in real life
i ran into lots of my sweet studio calico board friends:
amy tan (i also had the pleasure of meeting amy's sweet 'mommy')
and maggie holmes (favorite line of the entire show).
then it was back to the booth for several more hours and then i met some friends for dinner at downtown disney.
meeting elise and paul (finally) was fantastic. they are a wonderful couple and she is just glowing. i'm thrilled for them and the beautiful adventure they are on.
i had a flight ridiculously early the next morning, but i met lisa and jennifer for a drink at the marriott… and there was so much talking and laughing. and catching up.
and laughing until my face hurt and my voice was cracking.
i tried to soak up every moment i had. it is a blessing to be around so many women that share the same mentality and passion that i do for being creative.
it was so much fun.
and so tiring. and crazy. and it flew by.
it might be another four years before i do it again (the last time before this year was 2009), but it's worth the wait.
thanks to all of you who took the time to come say hi to me. to introduce yourselves and for being so kind and encouraging. i LOVED meeting all of you.
i actually ended up getting a few product photos so i'll share those in my next post!