Way back when I was still growing Jack, a blog I read linked to Vicki Courtney's blog. I immediately loved her and started to google her. That's when I found out that she'd be speaking in Birmingham, just a quick 2ish hours from Atlanta, at the DotMom event. After perusing the other speakers, the break out sessions, and everything that would happen at the conference, I knew I had to go. I sent the email to a couple of my mom friends and immediately heard back from Danielle. We both asked our husbands to get us a ticket to the conference for Mother's Day and that was that.
Initially, I asked my mom if she would fly down and ride with me to the conference and keep Jack in the room- but when he came into the world 5 weeks early and started sleeping like a champ, I decided that he would be happier at home, and it would be easier on my mom and Max too. So with the oodles of pumped milk in the freezer, I left the boys with my mom and Eli, their manny. (Chad was here too, but he busied himself with golf, work meetings, and other man stuff.) Honestly, it about ripped my heart out to leave my 4 month old overnight, I had major anxiety for several days leading up to my actual departure, but it was the BEST thing I could've done for my mom-hood and my boys.
The conference was FABULOUS- God was at work encouraging moms, rebuilding moms, strengthening moms, and pointing moms back to him. Every breakout that I went to was amazing, the main session speakers spoke straight to my heart, and I was reminded over and over again by moms that were either doing it or had done it, that even in the midst of baby/ toddler land, there was time for God- it just wouldn't look like it did when I was single/ in college/ kidless. And for 36 whole hours, I was there for me- for my relationship with God, and my important job of being a mom. It was exactly what my soul needed!
I chose a breakout on being a step mom, a breakout on teaching my kids The Word, a breakout on conversations you must have with your son (since I have 3 of them!), and a breakout on "vintage values" in the modern society. I came home with tons of books, I came home with many new tricks up my sleeve, I came home more than ready to be an amazing mom, and I came home with a hunger for God's word. I'm telling you, this was worth all the money in the world, but the ticket was only $69!!
We ended up riding to the conference 7 deep in a Nissan minivan! (Only at a mom conference would the most popular car be a minivan... I can't tell you how many times minivan's were mentioned from the stage!) That included Danielle, our friend Heather, our pastor's wife Kristy, and then 3 other lovely ladies I didn't know until the trip- but God bonded us, of course- He always does that! One wonderful lady even accepted Christ as her Savior for the first time, PRAISE THE LORD. And now I have new mom friends.
SO I'll end by saying that this probably isn't the last you hear of this- especially as I dig into the many books I bought and type up my notes to share with the others (we divided and conquered since there were so many great breakouts) BUT until then, if you're a mom, or a grandmother, this conference is for you AND it's happening again, next year, same time, same place. Mark it on your calendar now, tell me you want to go, and we'll begin making plans. You can buy your ticket now, too, for the early bird discount, click here. And if you're afraid of going because you'll have a baby, make a plan- bring a the baby and sitter, or plan ahead to leave you baby and bring your pump- been there, done that, TOTALLY worth it!