Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Edel...the Really, Really Late Version Part 1: How I Got There

Since the date and location of The Edel Gathering 2015 has just been announced, I guess it is time for me to try to articulate the wonderful-ness that was Edel for me this July. As a side note, yes, I am that mom who rushes to finish the previous child's baby book while nine months pregnant with the next one! Which reminds me, I need to work on #4's book!
If you want to read from some other Edel 2014 attendees who wrote while the event was still fresh in their mind, I'll put a link at the end of my third post. (you can even click on over when I post it and scroll past my nonsense to the link and enjoy more established bloggers' takes; I won't even know!) I am splitting this post into three parts: How I Got There, What It Was Like, and What I Took Home.
I needed Edel. Desperately. As I shared before, this spring I was positively drowning, and this overwhelmed mama knew that Edel was for me. After all, the description on the website says, "Edel is an event for mothers who need a break." There's more, but that's all I needed to read. I bought my ticket the day they went on sale, barely blinking at the sticker price. A few weeks later, I had arranged to split a room at the luxurious Omni Hotel with a long-lost friend from our time at Ave Maria School of Law. Nell and her then-future husband were on law review with my husband. The little ones and I would visit the school frequently, and my daughter adored seeing Miss. Nell! Anyway, I cringed at the expense, but since I was planning to take my nursing toddler, I knew I wanted to have a room on site.
Omni Hotel Lobby, Austin

As the summer began, I realized how insane it was for me to attempt to attend the weekend. Due to multiple work-related and family events in July, I would not have a single free weekend that month. In fact, I would be out of town three of the four weekends, leaving my husband with the older three children. If you know my introvert husband, you know that he has a pretty low tolerance for noise and mess and needs his alone time! But, the idea of a party for moms sounded so appealing, and with hubby's encouragement I resolved not to cancel our plans. Yet. 
There was the matter of the crazy shoe competition. I knew that I probably needed to cancel, so I didn't put any thought into it. I figured if by some miracle I ended up attending, I would just have to figure it out at the last minute. I read others' crazy plans on Facebook and knew I couldn't be that creative anyway. I dislike hot glue guns. I had some dresses in my closet that could probably work for the parties but certainly nothing that would make me feel "intensely amazing," as Hallie encouraged. Oh well, I probably wouldn't end up making it, I remember thinking. It is just not practical.
Crazy Shoes? I just ended up wearing what everyone *wanted* to wear!
Then, we made the tough decision to close my business. All of a sudden, one of my July trips was unnecessary. In the same instant, however, my discretionary budget was nil. Nevertheless, my husband was insistent I not cancel. He wanted me to go, and he didn't care what it cost. The week before Edel, I told him it didn't make sense for me to go. My toddler was still nursing 4-5 times a day and going to bed early. I would miss all the fun both nights having to put him to bed early. I briefly considered trying to hire a babysitter to sit in the hotel room with him while he slept, so I could enjoy the social time. Husband had a plan.

First, I received a most encouraging email from Miss Nell. We previously messaged through Facebook, so I remember thinking it was a bit odd to get a bit longer email, but nice. In retrospect, I don't know how she pulled it off, being exhausted from a difficult recovery from the birth of her sweet baby boy and taking time to write little old me, but she conveyed an excitement that was immediately contagious. I told my hubby she was counting on me. I had to go. For her.

Selfie with Nell as we got ready to walk into a cocktail party where we knew very few other ladies!
And, then, somehow, he convinced me to leave the nursing toddler at home. I thought I would regret it afterwards. In fact, for a while, I did. He was 16 months old, so I probably sound crazy for even worrying about it. But, I had never left him overnight, and he was still nursing 4-5 times a day. The longest I had left him was for 12 hours. This was going to require 36 hours and two bedtimes and wake-ups. I worried. I felt guilty, really guilty. But, I knew he was right. I had just taken "the baby" to a family wedding the weekend before in Florida, and it was exhausting. Without my mom being there to help, it would have been miserable, and I would have felt terribly left out of all of the fun. I needed fun.
So, I planned as best as I could for maximum success, prepared a whole bunch of extra food for that little boy, found a couple of fabulous dresses at local thrift stores, took a deep breath, and drove away on Friday afternoon about 3pm after putting him down for his afternoon nap, quickly stopping at Walgreens for a new shade of lipstick to lift my spirits.
Part 2 coming soon (after I clean my house for guests coming tomorrow)!
Bless Your Heart!