Last week the family and I headed to Charleston, SC, so I could attend the Edel Conference, a gathering for Catholic women looking to offer and receive camaraderie and support! The conference is named after the Venerable (meaning holy, but not yet a saint) Edel Quinn. This was my first time attending the conference. There’s so much to say that it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so I’m going for a quick and easy bold high lights of my many experiences!
Charleston is hot! The last time I was in Charleston I think I was six and rocking a mini-skirt. At six months pregnant and 37+, this was not the same experience! I’m pretty sure I left the melted bottom of my flip flops in Freedom Square.
It’s awesome to be on the receiving end of kid updates! When the kids and I are at home we will often send Dad pictures of what we are up to during the time he is away. It was awesome to be on the receiving end of those messages. While I was at Edel, Daddy, Grandma, and the kids explored the Children’s Museum of the Low Country. Special thanks to all the wonderful Edel goers who recommended it as opposed to the aquarium trip we had been planning. It was perfect for both the almost 3 year old and the 18 month old. They had an absolute blast and I LOVED getting updates on the fun they were having while I was relaxing.
Crazy shoes can be a family affair. My Mom supplied the idea, the kids supplied the toys and sticker, and the husband magically affixed the toys to my shoes. I wore them with pride!
Check out some of the other awesome crazy shoes with Sole Searching Mama.
Catholic women are fantastic, wonderful, beautiful, fit, and powerful each in their very own unique and amazing way. I truly don’t think I’ve ever been around a more caring group of woman who were so accepting and open to conversation. I went alone, knowing not a soul, but never found myself without a friend. I also finally got to meet Amy of Motherhood and Miscellany, who is one of my favorite Catholic homeschooling Mom bloggers! She’s even better in person as is her sweet super friend often mentioned in the blog. The ladies who spoke and/or presented each carried such powerful messages and truly it rocked my world to see some of these women whose words I’ve read and commitment I’ve admired stand up and speak.
- Hallie Lord was insanely pregnant and still exuded grace and love with every word and gesture. I think I might want to be her. I really enjoy her freelance writing and frank conversation style about Catholics, life, marriage, sex, and children. How fun to see her in person and realize that is really, the real her!
- Jennifer Fulwiler is the author of “Something Other Than God” and the only person who has even been able to explain the Catholic Church’s teachings about contraception and natural family planning in a way that not only made sense to me, but also helped me understand it as empowering, not limiting for women. She inspires me to stay strong when faced with medical problems during pregnancy and above all, she also cracks me up! Laughter is truly healing 🙂
- Haley Stewart fought laryngitis to introduce the speakers and (gasp!) sat next to me for mass on Saturday! There was no socially appropriate way to tell her I have your book: “Feast! Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year” and am using it to figure out how to celebrate the liturgical year with my family!!! So, I guess I’m mentioning it here 😉 LOL
- Rachel Balducci had me laughing out loud and nodding my head through almost her entire talk. She’s a new face and voice for me, but one I’m very much looking forward to getting to know better. Her book, “How Do You Tuck In a Superhero,” has been added to my must read list.
- Kelly Mantoan unarguably had the best quote of the conference, “Every time you bless yourself, it’s like punching the devil in the face.” She is also the current hosts of 7 Quick Takes one of my favorite Catholic inspired link ups.
- Audrey Assad spoke so clearly to my heart as a new mom who has discovered that motherhood is not only a vocation, but a true heart-rendering, overwhelming passion. She has a voice powered by fierce and fervent words that speak right to the soul. I am really looking forward to enjoying some of her music.
- Soul Core founded by two Catholic Moms with a shared mission, is an excellent combination of prayer and exercise. I recently took a mindfulness class at the local university and have been looking to invest more time focusing on the here and now. This workout was a fabulous way to combine mindfulness practice/meditation with movement and prayer. Loved it! I was also especially impressed with the incredible women who went through the workout in unbelievably close proximity to each other without complaint.
I no longer look like my blog profile picture. It was pointed out to me multiple times, that I don’t match my blog picture. Yes, true! The picture I use for my blog and social media links was taken before children. I like that picture. I had slept, had a hair cut, and wasn’t contending with any of the maladies that love to visit me during and after pregnancy. That picture IS NOT COMING DOWN; however, in the interest of being honest and true to myself I have posted an updated picture of me and the family on the About page. If I’m blessed enough to attend the next Edel Gathering in 2 years, I promise to give everyone a warning of my current appearance via Instagram before making my grand entrance 😉