Monday, September 21, 2009

Processing ACFW-- Part 1

The haze that masked the full beauty of the Denver foothills has followed me home. My misty vision, however, isn't the result of smog, but rather one of awe, and definitely sleep deprivation. This old girl doesn't do time zone changes so well, I discovered. Thanks to my 4:00 a.m. treadmill time for the first two mornings, I did manage to stay somewhat alert in all the sessions I attended, but just in case I'm wrong on that, I ordered the complete DVD recording set and looking forward to listening to ALL the sessions over the coming months.

Okay, so what did I learn at the 2009 ACFW Conference--my first one with this organization? Since my brain is still processing it all, here's my first rundown. As the fog clears throughout the week I'll get a little more serious, I suspect!

  • Apparently, I do have a Canadian accent. But seriously, you all, you're the ones with the cute drawls and extra little words that slip into your pronunciations at random. It's the darnedest thing. Really it is!
  • In general, Canadians are made short, and Americans are built on stilts. At least it felt that way in my little blog friend circle. (You guys are absolutely the greatest! I love you all, and feel so privileged and grateful for getting to meet so many of you in person. You guys certainly made this shy Canadian lady feel so much more at home in your home land. Praise God for each and every one of you.--Oops, guess the mist lifted a little there for some serious stuff to emerge. There is hope for me yet!)
  • And one final note for today before the picture showcase. American coffee, even the hotel's version of Starbucks, is really disappointing! I actually offered to pick my girls up from school today, even though a perfectly good bus would be there waiting for them too, just because I need to be reminded of what a real cup of coffee, brewed by someone other than me, tastes like. Since there happens to be a Tim Horton's coffee shop near their schools, I'm wishing their classes would end way early today, let me tell you. Canadian Tim Horton's coffee is real coffee, Canadian Starbucks coffee is real coffee! I don't know what you guys do to yours, but whatever it is, it's really sad! Come visit me in Canada, and I'll show your taste buds what real coffee is supposed to be like!

    Back row: Jody Hedlund, Katie Ganshert, Jessica Nelson, Jeannie Campbell Front row: Ralene Burke, Me, Krista Phillips, Cathy Bryant

Me and my conference roomie, Jody Hedlund.

Jeannie Campbell and I at The Book Therapy Pizza Party

Jeannie Campbell and Katie Ganshert on Friday evening at the Book Therapy Pizza Party.

Dinner Thursday evening. Me, Jeannie Campbell, Jaime Wright Sundsmo, Jessica Nelson,
Katie Ganshert, and Jody Hedlund.
At breakfast Saturday morning we were blessed with Debbie Macomber joining our table. I just had to get a picture with this amazing keynote speaker and author. A beautiful woman all round.

Surrendering to Him,



Terri Tiffany said...

I'm only 5'4" so we could have hung out ok:)) I loved the pictures of all of you. I want to know how you found each other? did you plan a meeting place or just little by little bump into each other? It is cool that you all hung out. I already told my husband that next year we will drive to Indianapolis and go if we are still in Fla --somehow!

Lazy Writer said...

Those pictures are great! I really wish I had been there. What a great time it would have been, even without a conference. :)

Cindy said...

Great pictures! It's so awesome you all got to meet up and spend time together! I soooo want to go next year. Thanks for sharing with us :)

Jody Hedlund said...

I just laughed when I read your post today! I can just hear your voice now speaking all those words! I'm SO glad that we got to meet and be roomies! I absolutely love you!!!

And, yes, I did make it home (your comment on my blog cracked me up today too!). I walked in the door at 10:45 pm, about when I thought I'd make it home. It was a LONG day. And I'm in need of a good cup of coffee today too!

I love all of the pictures! Brings back lots of great memories! I'm so glad I could experience it with you!

Jessica said...

LOL! Love your post! You have such a gentle personality! I loved it. :-) I really, really enjoyed meeting you, you tiny, petite, lady. LOL Pictures don't do you justice, seriously.
Also, I can tell already I won't like Canadian coffee, because I loved the Starbucks! I'm pretty sure we use more sugar! LOL

Katie Ganshert said...

Just like Jody - I'm totally hearing your voice now when I read your blog! It's great! I had such a fun time meeting your Eileen! I hope I get the pleasure again next year! I had to laugh about the stilts and small Canadians. :)

Georgianad said...

I really wish I hadn't missed this year!!! Maybe next year I'll come...and you can bring coffee :D

Candee Fick said...

It was wonderful to meet you. I still remember lunch on Saturday when I was sandwiched between two Canadians. Y'all rubbed off on me and I was adding an "ey" to the end of my sentences before the meal was over. :)

I'm still processing all I heard and learned. When I surface from the sleep deprivation, I'll get back to work.

Go get your coffee. I'll head for another Coke.

Jill Kemerer said...

So glad you had a great time! I love Tim Horton's too. We lived in Virginia for a while and it was tough not having TH! Thankfully, I have easy access to two!

Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe said...

Hi Eileen...I missed seeing you! And, I'm only 5'0 tall...we would have looked great in pics together!

I too feel in a daze. Really hard to get back to teaching today, but I did it. Now for an evening workout and dinner. I have a feeling an early bedtime is in my future, too.

God bless and take care!

Tabitha Bird said...

Sounds like such a great time. I am so wanting to get there next year... maybe. I live in Australia so it would be a bit of a trip. I just want to meet all you guys :)

sherrinda said...

Oh Eileen, it sounds like you had a marvelous time! Had I been there, you would have laughed at my Texas drawl and I have to confess, I'm a bit of a stilts girl at 5'9". (I like to wear heels too!) I'm looking forward to hearing more of your experiences and soak in all the wisdom you gained!

Rebecca Nazar said...

I'm glad you had a great time. I'm short 5'2" and feel Tim's is much better than Staryucks.

Amy De Trempe said...

Glad you had a great time. I hope you get a good cup of coffee made by someone else soon.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

Well, I used to be almost 5' 8", but I shrunk to 5' 6 1/2". Gotta take that calcium.

Hmm, I never thought of Canadians as having an accent. But then, I don't think I have an accent. (According to my NY friends, I've lost it. Everyone from my two succeeding states say I haven't.)

I guess accents are in the ear of the listener. (How's that for butchering a perfectly good cliche?) LOL!

Susan :)

Need More Words said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I am 5' tall, I do not qualify for the stilts category. I have a hard time in crowds of people, trying to reach for air, you know what I mean.
I have heard such good things about the ACFW conference that I will see if I can make it next year.

Stephanie Faris said...

What fun! It takes me back to the conferences I attended. Conference food is pretty much always the same, isn't it? :-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I really enjoyed the pics! Thanks for sharing.

I'm 5'8, but I'm definitely the tallest among all my friends. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, Eileen, I'm so happy you got to attend the conference, but now I'm curious why your coffee is so much better than ours!
Could it be the water?

Am I shallow for picking out this one item of your post? We are coffeeholics in our house!

Welcome home,

Erica Vetsch said...

Eileen, I didn't think you had an sounded kinda Minnesotan. :)

So wonderful to meet you in person. Hope you're not scarred for life with Jody and my breakfast discussion. :)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thank you, Erica. I didn't think I had one either, but several of the blog buddies teased me about having one. I guess it it's in the ear of the beholder. LOL

Angela Breidenbach said...

I have to agree about Starbucks. sigh. I like my little local spots :-)

I love your pictures from conference. They are so vibrant!

Congratulations on having such a successful conference and on building your career. You are spectacular.