I got to meet Soulemama!
When I heard she'd be "nearby," I knew I had to take a road trip. Every day, I look forward to reading her blog. When I first discovered it a few years back, I had to go all the way back to the beginning and read every post. I was thrilled to find someone who raised her children like I planned to; who focused so beautifully on home and family and creativity; who shared so many of my interests; and who wrote about and photographed it all so beautifully. She inspired me to start my own blog. She taught me to keep something crafty close at hand so I could squeeze crafting into the tiniest pockets of time in my day. Every day, she reminds me to focus on the beauty in life. So a two-and-a-half hour trip to meet her in person? Totally worth it.
We drove through a gorgeous first-day-of-spring morning to Gibson's Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, a lovely small bookshop with an attached bakery. Headed to the bathroom (first stop after a long car ride!), the first thing I noticed was her whole family in the bakery. I love that they were there. (And isn't that the weirdest thing about blogging? I knew who they are; I knew their names and their ages and some of their interests and wardrobes and projects. But they had no idea who I am. Just one of the fan club.) I wondered where the reading would be held; there seemed to be no space. Then the bookstore employees started moving book carts around, and I realized, to my great joy, that this would be a very small intimate gathering.
Sure enough, we were a small crowd. Andi and Lucy and I got to sit right up front. Amanda read from The Creative Family to explain how she came to be the crafty mama she is today. Then she took questions from the group: about unschooling, about her next book, about blogging, about "how do you do it all?" I loved her answer to that: "we all do huge amazing wonderful things...I just happen to document it all." Afterwards, she took the time to sign books, pose for photos, and chat with us. She was just as real and humble and sweet as you would expect. I feel privileged to have had the chance to meet her.
I can't be within an hour of the ocean and not go to the beach, so that was the next part of our trip. I'll save that story for another day...