* I am the worst traveler ever. The. Worst. If I'm not busy assuming my flight will be canceled, I'm paranoid about someone yanking my wallet. (Maybe because both things have actually happened in recent memory??) I've become heinous when it comes to driving in unfamiliar cities, left to my own devices, which include but are not limited to: paper maps and frantic phone calls to Cory. I honk at people and am honked at. I get jittery about tolls. I park in the wrong parking garages. I'm a weirdo at the ticket counter. I am always, every single time, a hair's width from not sitting my butt on the plane, for a host of reasons, and when I do? My carry-on is too heavy for my twig arms to lift it to the overhead compartment. A nice man offers help, to which I respond, "Thanks! I'm not as strong as I look." And he registers a look of, "Honey, my two year old grandkid could so take you". The joke falls flat, I question my ability to properly utilize irony, and I buckle my seat belt, already dreading the return flight.
* I used to think if I was going to forget a key toiletry, a tooth brush would be the one I'd pick. They seem so readily available. A tooth brush is a tooth brush, you know. Except now I know that "brushing" one's teeth with a hotel "tooth brush" is exactly like washing one's teeth with a shedding push-broom made of rubber, the "bristles" of which register the sturdiness of two-ply tissue. It was so large, yet so soft and flexible. Such a pointless tool. I never saw this one coming.
* People look at me like I'm Mary Todd Lincoln when I pull an actual point-and-shoot camera out and snap a few pics.
* I can waffle and waver and try on outfits and stew over what the right thing is to wear to something like this, but when it actually comes down to it, you'll find me in gingham and Converse. It's my adult security blanket.
* If you put three exhausted moms in a hotel room and draw the black-out shades, they will not wake up until 10:25 a.m.
* If you give two savvy, puffy-eyed ladies 15 minutes to look presentable for a brunch with a bunch of other, savvier, and much better-turned-out ladies, they will mostly pull it off. (This one did better than the other one.)
* Paige Knudsen? The K is not silent. I mean, whaaaaaaaaat?
* In between being psychotic on the phone while Cory tried patiently talking me through being lost on the way to the airport, I told him this, quote, "Everyone will comment on how tall I am and my man voice" endquote. I was right about the first part, but I'm sure they were all thinking the second part.
* Jami Nato is the Bizarro Emily Freeman, like on Seinfeld. Or maybe it's the other way around. Whatever. I don't know who's the chicken or who's the egg, I just found it uncanny and wonderful. I officially dig them both.
* Tex-Mex and unlimited salsa and guac can make an "I'm not even hungry yet!" girl change her tune, but quick.
My pretend homegirl, Shauna Niequist
Pretty Girl Danielle
* On the last day of the conference, after I had ugly-cried all my lady-paint clean off for roughly 24 hours straight, having had only 3 hours of sleep the previous night and having lost the will to fluff my hair or properly accessorize, roughly everyone in the Universe wanted a picture of everything, which happened to include me.
* I hunch over in all pictures like a gangly weirdo. (I have known this for a long time...so why don't I stop?)
You guys. I have so much more to say about Hope Spoken. So much goodness to share.
I'm going to do us all a favor and save the rest for tomorrow.
Meantime, tell me one thing you learned while I was in Texas.
I'm all ears. Literally.