Wowsers!! Look at what I was wearing around my neck by the time the Stampin' Up Convention was over last Saturday!!? My husband saw that and said, "did you leave any awards for anyone else, honey?" He's so sweet. What I see when I look at these ribbons and pins is God working quietly behind the scenes, when everything looked very dim. I am a slow learner... the lightbulb is sometimes remiss in coming on at all... but I should know that what I thought of as a "BAD" year just because it wasn't a "GOOD" year, did not mean it was not a "GROW" year! "Grow" years are even better than good years, in the long run, because you learn lessons about life and relationships. You learn to trust your instincts, to listen to your body, to delegate. Sometimes you learn that going out on a limb is not more scary than staying back where you were... anyway, I have multiple thoughts on "grow" years, that I will be compiling into an article for my free direct-sales motivation and inspiration blog. Did you know I have all kinds of goodies for demonstrators stashed in a no-frills, ad-free, solictior-free site? If you haven't visited the resources at Song of My Heart Demonstrators yet, I'd love it if you would! You can reach it anytime through the links on my top menu bar. And leave me a comment if something was helpful to you, as it keeps me encouraged.
So! Let's hear more about Convention. I can't believe it's over!!! On the other hand, I am glad it is, because we finally wandered home around midnight last night, so I can dive into the stamp room as soon as I get my messages returned and get some groceries. Fifteen days is a long time to be away!
Photos have been trickling in from friends... thanks to everyone who is sharing theirs! My mom thought it was so funny how I couldn't walk 20 feet in any direction without squealing and throwing my arms around another friend. I am so blessed to have gotten to know so many incredible women through Stampin' Up, and convention is such a great way for the online ones to get to meet in person, too!
I do a gigantic organized swap every year at Convention, and while it's stressful, I love the quality of the card samples I get in return. Don't worry, I will make a slideshow of them now that I am back home! This year we had a 140-person swap, with seven groups of twenty and a captain over each to help me manage the monster! : ) This photo is just the gifts that people sweetly brought when they came to sign in that afternoon... yay chocolate!!! I am SO spoiled!!
Carrie had a lot of good thoughts on personal creativity, how we think we don't have enough, or stifle it with our negative self-talk, and how to celebrate and explore it. I think I may work a session on this into our demonstrator retreat this September! Details on that coming shortly...
Bonnie Thurber is always a hilarious and delightful presenter, and she didn't disappoint in the final general session. Her stampin' showcase was one long roll in the aisles. First thing she did after sitting down was take a panoramic picture of the HUGE audience--would love to get my hands on that! I know I was not the only one whose throast was sore and whose voice was shot by the end of Saturday.
I was soooo excited to hear one of the final announcements that I cheered like crazy even though my voice was almost gone, though! Our Leadership Conference will be held in Houston next January! Let's hear it for visiting Texas in the middle of a Wisconsin winter!! And they also announced the date for the 2014 convention, so we can make plans. YOU need to plan to come along, by the way... you can't imagine how much fun it is! I hope my posts have shown you even a tenth of how amazingly awesome it is to go to an event put on by the penultimate party planners--Stampin' Up!
Because it was our 25th anniversary, Stampin' Up gave away just a gazillion prizes and did more all-attendee giveaways than ever before. We were all feeling pretty swell by the final session, and then Shelli pointed out something we hadn't figured out yet--out of all the nearly 6,000 attendees, only 25 people had not yet had their wristband color called for a prize. So she did one last Prize Patrol--and the winners received EVERY SINGLE stamp set out of the Holiday Catalog!!! Can you IMAGINE?? What a fantastic way to finish out the giveaways!
Unfortunately this is as close as we got to a team picture... we never did find a moment when all of us were together in the same spot! There were always one or two missing every single time we tried. But we had a great time celebrating Jessica's birthday and eating waaaaay too much at the Cheesecake Factory on Saturday night. Convention = good eats!!
As awesome as the final day of convention was, no one was sorry to leave. We're all so fired up about the ways we can make a difference in our families and communities, and our heads and notebooks are crammed to the max with amazing stampin' inspiration. I know I wasn't the only one itchin' the get back into the stamp room so I can put all this stuff to good use! Watch for yummy samples coming your way!