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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ten Things My Relevant Roomie Should Know About Me

Ok, all you Relevant ladies.  I’ve seen this going around blogland, so it’s about time I jumped on board. 

If you’re reading this and you’re my Relevant roomie, here are 10 things you ought to know about me.

1)      Well.  Isn’t this awkward?  Umm, I hate to tell you this, but you aren’t my Relevant roomie.  Sorry.  You might wanna check into that.  You see… and for some reason, I feel guilty admitting this, but in the interest of full disclosure here… I don’t actually have a Relevant roomie**.

2)      The reason for this is multi-fold.  Mostly, it’s because I haven’t had a moment alone in ohhhh, a few years or so, and I took the opportunity this time around to enjoy this conference not just as the oh-so-amazing spiritual blogging conference I know it will be, but also as a bit of a mom retreat – a time to get quiet with myself and reflect, re-charge, and process the conference AND the very emotionally impactful last number of months of my life.  Forgive me?  I still want to meet you and spend time with you and be included as much as I can in all the Relevant festivities, but my extended pre- and post-conference nights at the hotel are date nights with my hotel desk and Bible and my manuscript-in-progress.

3)      I’m painfully shy (not to be confused with quiet, by the way).  If I’m being honest, this is also at least a little bit of the reason for #1 and #2.  I’m a little preoccupied at this point that I’ll spend the entire conference wandering quietly and biting my fingernails anxiously while everyone else talks and laughs and hugs.  If you see a wandering Whimsy, please say hello.  I promise, I will think you’re a saint for the very act of taking pity on this friendless-girl. 

4)      I am relatively new to blogging and I don’t know a single Relevant soul in person.  I don’t know a single Relevant soul very well at all, really, even online.  I am so incredibly grateful that I’ll be there with a wonderful group of women from DaySpring and (in)courage, and this gives me an excuse to get out of my shell.

5)      Despite being painfully shy, I am actually very friendly and I really, really, really want to meet and get to know you, even if the thought of making the first move and approaching people I don’t know makes me want to vomit.  Once you get me talking, I may not actually ever shut up.  You’ve been warned.

6)      I’ve been to one conference before, a Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference several years ago.  I think I managed to get through the entire conference speaking only about ten words.  I didn’t meet a soul while I was there other than the publisher I was pitching, (even though I sat next to strangers at meals and breakout sessions) and that probably is why I’m on item #6 and still talking about how anxious I am about being the blog-conference equivalent of the last girl picked for dodgeball. 

7)      Two years ago, I was living in a 5000-square-foot house/lodge on a 300-acre ranch out near Crater Lake, Oregon.  We were entirely off-the-grid, and I was 100% city girl, learning daily how to deal with hydroelectricity, manage bat and wasp infestations, hunt for elk (once was enough, thankyouverymuch), heat our home with a woodstove, and bottle-feed baby cows.  I spent my free time exploring waterfalls and eating copious amounts of blackberries.  

One month ago, I was living in Texas in a 6000-square foot house in the country, taking care of 11 children as a housemom at a Christian children’s home (kind of like a foster parent).  My best friend lived three doors down, my husband was home nearly all the time, I homeschooled my own three kids, and I spent my days in a wild flurry of handling meals, laundry, phone conferences, stinky boy shoes, and hysterical/maddening teenage antics.

Today, I’m living in a 100-square-foot-bedroom in my in-laws’ house in southern Oregon with my husband and 3 kids while we get settled, going on a month with out paychecks, starting a new job (tomorrow!) working at home as a medical transcriptionist (something I did for 8 years before we went to Texas), potty training the most stubborn 3-1/2-year-old on earth (on someone else’s carpet – yikes!), and writing a book with every spare moment I can muster.  My husband starts a new job on Saturday, too -- very grateful, and my kids are back in a public school they love.  Without a household to manage, without a ministry to call my own, without homeschooling three grade levels at once, without a dozen children to care for, and without any friends that I am not related to here, yet, I am feeling rather lost and more than a little out-of-sorts, these days.

8)      I've let on some insecurities here, so on the flip side, here are a few things I love about me, and I hope you will too:  I’m creative and my mind is generally a happy jumble of thoughts, shooting a million miles an hour in a hundred different directions (did I mention I have ADD?).  My blog is my favorite escape – a place in the world where I feel free to be me, and my sincerest goal is that you can drop by and be yourself there, too.  Let it all hang out, friend, I’ll love you even more for it, I promise.  I love to write, and often, it’s how I make sense of the madness going on in my brain at any given moment.  I am not particularly fashion conscious or stylish.  I don’t spend more than $20 on a pair of jeans.  My shoes come from Payless.  But I’m learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I find that my home (when I have one, see previous post) follows suit.  Thrift-store chic seems to describe my wardrobe and my home décor these days, but I’m oddly comforted by distressed and well-loved stuff.  It’s more real that way, and I guess that’s what I love about it.  

9)      Whimsy Smitten is going through a bit of a blog identity crisis, and I expect that to come to a full hilt at the conference. 

10)  When I return from Relevant, I plan on tackling NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) during the month of November (which means, I’m probably going to spend the 30 most inspired blogging days drastically neglecting my blog in favor of this writing project – bummer).  I’m not actually writing a novel (it’s more like a memoir/personal narrative/creative nonfiction piece), but I can use all the motivation and inspiration I can get.  Anyone else hopping on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon?  

Ok, if you’ve made it this far, you get a medal.  Can’t wait to meet you at Relevant!!!!! 

** Despite my pre- and post-conference desk dates and such, if you or anyone else still needs a room for Relevant, I do have an empty bed and I'm happy to help a girl out, if there's any last-minute scramblers out there in need of a bed -- just let me know!   


  1. Www.brightideaspress.comOctober 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I love you already!! Seriously - your heart just shines through and you leave me wanting to get to know you! I think there must be a book in your last two moves / jobs as well.. Maybe even two?

    On another note, I just saw two gals tweet about looking for NaNoWriMo gals at Relevant. I am probably too chicken. Again. But I'd love to brush up against someone brave enough to do it!

  2. Thanks for your brave, honest post.  I'm so glad you're coming & hope we get to connect.  I'd love to grab a cup of coffee & talk.  I'll probably be in my grey chuck taylors too, but I have no storage excuse! Doh...

  3. Can't wait to meet you!! Girl, you are fantastic! I know it! Anyone that is transparent and realizes their limits is a wise woman :). See you soon!

  4. Kristi - thanks for your encouraging words.  Are you as excited as I am?!  Can't wait to meet you!

  5. One never needs an excuse for Converse, as far as I'm concerned.  ;)  I'd love to carve out some coffee time - looking forward to meeting you, Annie!  Thanks for your kind words. 

  6. I love you already too!  I mean, anyone that starts a comment like that is a-okay in my book!  ;)  I did see some tweets about other NaNoWriMo/Relevant bloggers.  Methinks I'll be in good company - but if you're up to it, no chickening out!  If I can do it (or at least attempt it, no promises I'll get through the entire month!)... anyone can.  

    Thanks for your sweet words, new friend.  <3

  7. Cara, I just LOVE your bold transparency and I'm super excited for you to get "retreat" time. What a delight to read these words straight from your heart, and to meet you soon...see you at Relevant!

  8. Oh, I want to meet you next week! I just wrote my own post about being terrified about going to Relevant - we can be the last two picked for dodgeball together. :)

    I've participated in NaNo 4 out of the last 5 years. Haven't ever completed it, but if I keep at it, maybe I will. We'll see what this year brings.

  9. Cara, so nice to "meet" you! You are going to love Relevant. It is so welcoming and full of instant friends! 

    When I read this line "I’m creative and my mind is generally a happy jumble of thoughts, shooting a million miles an hour in a hundred different directions" I knew I would love you - I'm the same way - I often feel like I can't keep up with my brain and the overflow of ideas.

    See you in just 1 week - I'll be the girl handing out pumpkin whoopie pies on Thursday to break the ice a bit! 

  10. Nice to "meet" you ... I'm also sans roomie for many of the exact same reasons.  :)  I'll be arriving early Wed afternoon and hope to spend Thursday morning doing some serious writing myself.  Maybe we could meet for breakfast Thursday??

  11. I am not going to Relevant this year :(  I love your blog and we share a lot in common so I hope we have the opportunity to connect online more often {until the next Relevant or equivalent :)}
    You will find Relevant to be filled with the sweetest, most authentic women you will ever meet. Enjoy every minute!

  12. Enjoy your time at Relevant. I won't meet you there because I won't be there... I'm not so new to the blogging scene but new to the "public" blogging scene so I don't even know what a "Relevant" blogger is. But it sounds like a wonderfully encouraging group of women. I hope you get some great rest (you certainly deserve it!) and at the same time enjoy some great conversation!!

  13. Glad to meet you. I also used to be painfully shy so I understand. I will try to come search you out. :)

  14. Yeah, did I mention so painfully shy that the people I knew in high school would never guess I would have made that last comment?...

  15. This makes me even more excited to meet you next week! :)

  16. You're fun.
    I can't wait to meet you.
    You can "check out" my "Relevant Roomie" post to see if you would like to meet me too...AAAAAHHHH!
    But for reals.
    I just got a ticket on Sunday and I am SO thrilled!
    I am rooming with 3 sweet ladies and their 2 babies, so if I need a time-out....I just might take you up on your room offer! {she boldly states}

    See you soon!

  17. I read your "Relevant Roomie" post and a few others you referred to, about some of what you've dealt with over the past year. Oh, friend, I can't wait to hug you. Our journeys are (obviously) very different, but your words could have been my words for several situations. Looking forward to it!


Your comments are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your valuable words.