Sunday, August 21, 2011

{Indianapolis Road Trip}

I was invited to attend the Women of Faith conference with a fellow photographer and friend.  Since we were already in Indy - attending the PUG conference in Indy was a must. Zach and Jody Gray, what to say, phenomenal. They're freaking cool.

After the PUG group we headed to our hotel. This is where it gets interesting.

If you ever pull up to a hotel that looks almost deserted? Take it as a clue that there might be a reason. Lol.

We ordered Steak and Shake, stunk up the room but were delighted to have FOOD! We were both starving by the time we got to the hotel. First thing we noticed was this creepy older gentleman hanging outside in the lobby. So we get to our room, unpack, jammies and I start to eat my food. Sat my soda on the window sill and decided to open the window to get some fresh air. Creepy dude from downstairs? He's roaming the parking lot now. 

I go back to my sandwich. 2 minutes later though I check on him again and make sure he is no where near my beautiful Benz. :) Oh, he's no where near it, he's just UNDERNEATH OUR HOTEL ROOM WINDOW!!!! I freak out a bit and then Katie looks and freaks out a bit too. She tells me to use my flip video to record it. So I did.

Once he realizes he's on video he walks away. Needless to say we were freaked out. Sleeping was difficult that night.

Next day was the conference which was awesome. Then an early dinner at the Spaghetti Factory with the amazing Angel Canary and her husband Steven. What a great lady she is. Really has her stuff together and I truly admire her work.

Not until the next morning do we realize that was also part of the hotel's lovely accommodations were bedbugs when Katie found a dead one on her bed. This is about when we like really freaked out. Mind you - we just got back from the conference so it's about 11p. So skip all the conversations inbetween with the Manager who didn't care and lied to Travelocity about there being no such thing on the bed. That tied with our window stalker = too much. Supposedly creepy guy was 80 and worked for the hotel to which my response was - "you may want to talk to your employees about standing directly outside of your customer's hotel windows. THAT is CREEPY." After much debate a new hotel was arranged and we finally found our heads resting on a comfy pillow at Best Western. Thank you Jesus - I think that's what I muttered before I finally fell asleep.

Clean, not creepy and a comfortable bed.
All I was asking for at that point.

And.. there may or may not have been an entire bottle of Arbor Mist Sangria consumed by moi in order to sleep after all that creepy drama. I actually slept WELL through the night. :)

And Saturday morning... Starbucks 2x in one weekend = fantastic and necessary after 5 hours of sleep two nights in a row.
The best part now of the weekend: The conference. The stories. The worship. Just... awesome. So neat to see 10,000 women gather to regroup and re-prioritize themselves. I came there hoping to find the same thing.

Sheila Walsh is incredible. I was so moved and impressed by her Scottish accent that I found myself mesmerized by her speaking. Her honesty. Her candor. Her knowledge. Angie Smith, Henry Cloud, Luci Swindoll, Lisa Harper, Nicole Johnson, Natalie Grant and Erica Campbell all spoke and shared bits and pieces of their lives, their heart. I found myself laughing a lot... and crying a lot too. I wear my heart on my sleeve, it's so true but that is how I was made. So much knowledge gained and notes taken - I will have to dive in deeper to really share my heart on the weekend and what I took from it, but for now, I will share this verse. I loved it. And then also a quote below that I really, really loved.

Galatians 6:4-5

New Living Translation (NLT)
 4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct. 

Hermann Hesse’s words:
Life passes like a flash of lighting
Whose blaze barely lasts long enough to see.
While the earth and the sky stand still forever
How swiftly changing time flies across man’s face.
O you who sit over your full cup and do not drink,
Tell me whom are you still waiting for?

First night at the conference. 7,000 women initially, then 10,000 on Saturday. Incredible. And they fed us all in less than an hour.

The Hoosier Capitol!

While Katie and I agreed that Indy is no Chicago, it has it's features. :)

Loved all of the pattern and symmetry here.

Interestingly enough we managed to not get lost, most of the time.

Took this one for my son Brendon. 

Conseco Fieldhouse. Standing up made me dizzy. 

The Circle City in all of its afternoon heat and magnificence.

Can I just say.. I really love the fisheye lens.

Buca Di Beppos on our way out of town.

This was the most amazing conglomeration of penne, chicken, capers, artichoke, sun-dried tomato and white wine sauce with garlic.

A very sweet ending to the trip. Tiramisu... and the best I've ever had.

I am the wife of a firefighter. :) These are for him.

So now I go back to this. Carrying 4x what most days I think I can. But knowing hard work will get the job done. There are a million billion ants like there are people. But though we are small and similar - we all have a different purpose and task and each of us should find it important and most of all worthwhile.
"We are closer to the ants than to the butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure."
Gerald Brenan