Gretchen lives in Colorado, and as soon as I booked my flight, I crossed my fingers that I'd be able to meet up with her. I've been reading Gretchen's blog for years. She wrote that it was four years, and I'll take her word for it. I suppose I could figure it out by seeing when Chief Justice Roberts was confirmed because that's the day I started reading her blog. She had a picture of the new Chief Justice and his squirmy little boy, and now I will forever associate the Supreme Court with Gretchen, which is certainly to their advantage.
We met two Mondays ago, in a town between Denver and Fort Collins, at a restaurant that had big windows, yummy food, and crayons for the kiddos. I love any restaurant that has crayons. Beatrix and Joel colored marvelously on their kids' menus, and Archie--blessed Archie who I had prayed for when he was born and whose eyes I briefly got to look into just before we parted--slept the whole time. Although I could have gone for a few minutes of holding the little guy, I can't complain that he was perfectly angelic through the whole meal.
And what a fun meal it was. Joel is a master conversationalist, and tried to give me a crash course on how to play a computer game with a crocodile and moving platforms and hidden rooms. Beatrix showed me her colorings and talked to me about her lunch, and I couldn't stop smiling at her. One highlight of the meeting: getting to hold Beatrix's hand as we walked across the restaurant. Oh mercy. I had to call Jules at home as soon as I got in the car, I was so homesick for her little voice and hands.
Between Joel's laugh-out-loud stories and Beatrix's adorableness, Gretchen and I talked about all sorts of things, and it was pure delight meeting this mom whose advice I have respected and whose writing I have adored. Thanks for the meet-up, dear Gretchen. What a treat.
As if meeting one blogger in a week wasn't enough, Diane and I met up with each other last Sunday. I've actually met Diane several times before, although it hasn't been for a couple years now (crazy since we live so near to each other). From the moment Diane and I get together, there is non-stop conversation. We talk about everything, and when I leave her I'm always giddy with all that talking.
This time around we talked about her trip to Japan, kids, Portland, movies, and food. Before our yummy dinner we saw the movie Coraline and were both charmed and alarmed by the movie. If you're not familiar with the premise of the movie, some of the characters have buttons for eyes, and let me tell you, those buttons are a bit unsettling. But the movie itself was so interesting. Hooray for seeing films with ties to Oregon. And hooray for finding time to meet up with nearby friends.
It is such a quirky and amazing thing to meet people who we know so much about and who know so much about us. That's one I love about blogging.
*Alternate title that I abandoned, fearing it would be too obscure: "Buttons: Cute and Otherwise." As in, the Lifenut kids being cute as a button, and Coraline having freaky buttons. I decided that any title you have to explain isn't quite as clever as I had hoped.