Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. Whether you’re an American or not, I hope your day is relaxing and full of joy.
Last weekend I had one of the best weekends in a very long time. I want to take the time to highlight some of the events that I’ll always be thankful for:
1. Meeting Jen
Jen was one of the first “stranger” to read and follow my blog. She and Elle from Gleeful Reader were the first people to introduce me to the outside world of book blogging. Before being in contact with Jen, I didn’t even know that there was a community at all. It is with great pride that I can say that I helped plant the seed that is now Devourer of Books. She is a social networking whiz and to this day I take her lead when it comes to what is out there to do. I’ve thrilled at her wedding and the subsequent birth of her son Daniel. It just didn’t seem right that I had never met her in person. So, it was one of my top priorities to get to meet her in person when I traveled to Chicago.
We met at the Starbucks in Glen Ellyn and it was as if we have always spent time together. Believe it or not, books and blogging were major parts of most of our conversations. I greeted her with 5 books she requested from my library. She greeted me with two double-bagged paper grocery bags full of books! I thought I was being picky about what I chose, but I still came away with one of those double-bagged bags. There were so many books that I had to ask my sister to media mail them to me.
After some time talking, we quickly dropped in to The Bookstore in Glen Ellyn before heading off to Sourcebooks…
2. Getting a Behind the Scenes look at Sourcebooks
Around the time that I knew for certain I would be heading to Chicago, I received my ARC of The Forever Queen from Sourcebooks. I happened to look at the return address and noticed that they were located Naperville, IL. I immediately checked to see if that was near Chicago. Better yet, it was near Glen Ellyn, where my sister lives. Jen was also interested in checking out one of our favorite publishers, so I emailed Danielle (love her!) and she fit us in to her schedule.
While I can’t say exactly what I was expecting, Sourcebooks was even more eclectic and interesting than I’d hoped. I love their bull and everyone was very friendly. I enjoyed learning more about their wide selection of publications. Most of all, it was nice to put faces to names. Danielle and Beth were great to talk to and Jen for a few minutes before we left and they didn’t let us go empty handed, either. We got some great books, including two Elizabeth Chadwick books that proudly display quotes from Jen herself! You should check those out!
Jen, Danielle, Beth and me with the Sourcebooks Bull
3. The opportunity to shop and help patrons at The Bookstore
After leaving Sourcebooks, we headed back to The Bookstore, where Sue was there waiting for us. We spent an hour or so in their shopping and helping customers. I ended up buying a book I’d never heard of before, Elegies for the Brokenhearted by Christie Hodgen. It had me at the cover – and the recommendation of Sue. Based on that selection, she sold me The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Then I bought one of the darling book thongs they were selling. I couldn’t resist!
The Bookstore also has a wonderful promotion running that gives you the opportunity to buy a book for an underprivileged student. You pick up a card at their checkout counter and buy an appropriate book. I had just finished The Heroine’s Bookshelf on the plane and I knew it would be the perfect gift for a high school girl. I hope the girl who receives it loves it as much as I did.
When my sister picked me up, Jen and I snapped a picture with each other. I can’t wait until we meet up with each other again.
4. Spending sisters and best friend
From The Bookstore, Donielle and I headed to a Hilton hotel where our scrap booking retreat was being held. My sister Meridith and my best friend Trista were there waiting for us. It was so great to see all three of them! Nothing beats getting to spend time with the people who have known you the longest and the best. We had a great time catching up and teasing each other like we always do.
I didn’t come to scrapbook. My goal was to make my Christmas cards. I had no idea how complicated my design was until I set out to get started. It pretty much took me the entire time – it would have taken me exactly the entire time had Trista not taken a break from her scrap booking and helped me out. I am very pleased with them, but never again – or at least not ever again during a 36 hour period of time. At least the hot tub helped.
5. Birthday massage
Trista’s birthday is in June. Mine is in October. I made Trista’s birthday present – a crocheted scarf – that I was planning on bringing with me. I know what you’re thinking. It was late. We’re both bad at making the exact date. It’s almost our schtick. Well, I tried on the scarf before I left. I had followed the pattern, but apparently I did something wrong because when wrapping it around my neck evenly, a foot of scarf dragged on the floor on each side! It even dragged the floor when my 6’7″ husband tried it on. Luckily that story was worth some laughs.
As it turns out, the lady organizing the weekend brought in a masseuse for those who were interested. When that was announced, Trista and I knew what we were giving each other for our birthdays! It was heaven for both of us.
6. Coming Home
When I got to my car after my last flight landed and I picked up my suitcase, I saw a familiar car that wasn’t the one I drove. It was our van. I just registered it when I heard behind me, “Mommy!” We all started running toward each other and I was so excited to see my family. They were excited to see me too, which made for a perfect ending to a wonderful trip.
I’m a lucky woman and am so very thankful.