September 24, 2012

Becoming Conference



The Becoming Conference has come and gone.

It feels like I've been anticipating it for years and now thats it's over, I'm surprised at how much brain space I have again.

I have a new respect for professional speakers and also pastors that preach more than 2 sermons back to back. It's seriously hard word. 

Overall, the conference was really fun. A lot of that had to do with my two awesome roommates, Stu (my sis lauren, her nickname is stu and. . .well. . .I think it's time I start referring to her as Stu here on my blog since it's what I call her in real life. Maybe I'll post about why sometime soon but it's really not an interesting story) and my friend Carrie (aka Care-Bear, Merry-Carrie, Carrie-Gray-yace, Mary-Phon, Beatrice, or just Bea)

**sounds like I need to write a post about nicknames, huh?**

Anyway, Stu and Care-Bear were with me and they were the perfect companions. We had a great time together the whole weekend and they helped me out when Saturday morning struck. 



Friday night was a brief fashion show and the opening keynote. Since Stu, Carrie and I did not have time to eat, we left the keynote early and drove in to Asheville to grab dinner.

Hello world of hippies!

There must of been some kind of festival going on because there were people e-v-e-r-ywhere. Or maybe that's just a regular friday night in Asheville. Who knows. We wanted to try a restaurant that was recommended to us from a blog reader of From My Grey Desk, but the line was out the door. We ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings and it was delish.

We returned to Ridgecrest and set up my room. I practiced a bit with my mic, and my sister learned of her new found love of speaking into a microphone. Carrie practically busted up my wardrobe as we were assembling it so I learned to never assemble furniture with her again! :)

Then it was time to rest. Finally.

Saturday morning I got up early and headed out for breakfast. I met one of the conference founders in my room to hook up my computer to the projector system, and then I had about 2 hours to prepare and run through my talk before my session began.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, the online schedule I received days before the conference and the actual printed schedule handed out the night before were different. It was a simple typo that could happen to anyone (and actually really sounds like something I would do unknowingly), but it threw me into a panic. 

I was not ready to speak in 20 minutes. Oh.My.Gosh.

So I called Stu and Carrie, they had slept in a bit and gone for breakfast, and told them that I was actually speaking during the first session which began in 15 minutes. They were in the middle of getting ready, so I told them to just do their thing and come to my room before the second session so we could all grab lunch.

I had wanted them there during my first session to make sure atleast two people were laughing at my jokes. But now I had to rely on my audience and hope that I was actually funny. Turns out, the audience laughed --either with me or at my, but regardless. . .they laughed! :) 

I'm literally holding back tears at this point thinking,"I AM NOT READY!!!!!". Panic ensues and women start walking into my room. 

this.is.happening.

I escape to the bathroom with a plastered smile on my face, enter the stall and give myself a pep talk.

"Kate. You are speaking now. Get it together. You will be fine. Oh and stop looking like you want to cry."

I prayed for peace and for my face to look calm and composed even though I was shaking and sweating.

I walked back into my room and began my talk. 

By the grace of God alone, I got through it (although I was so comfortable I got a little chatty and didn't quite finish up my entire talk) and had a lot of fun.

The women in that first session were so warm and happy, they put me at ease immediately. And right before I started, the sweetest woman came up to me and said she was excited to be there and was looking forward to my session. And it was exactly what I needed to hear. I seriously wanted to hug her and tell her thank you so much, but I knew I would cry so I choose her for the live hair tutorial instead. 

After that first session was over I was ready for a break and to regain my composure. Except women started walking in for the second session--as per the agenda online. 

So I'm realizing, and trying to be subtle since women were coming in and sitting down, that I'm also speaking during the second session. 



And the third and fourth.  whew. That's a lot.

In a way that released some stress since I now knew what the plan was during the rest of the day, and I was able to get through each talk successfully! 



At the end of the conference, I was so impressed by how many lovely and kind women were there, and so encouraged (SO encouraged) by their enthusiasm during my session.  I was exhausted, but so fulfilled.

On the ride home, I could feel tiredness wash over me for the first time all day, and was thankful that God sustained me to get through, and enjoy, each and every session.

So if you came to the conference, and came to one of my sessions, thank you. I loved it and hope you did too. 

This is how I spent yesterday:


Resting and reflecting on what a great time I had at the Becoming Conference.



*if you came and have any photos I would love to see them. Tweet them at me or tag my in them : K8_smallthings 


37 comments:

  1. I loved it! And it was totally strange meeting you and seeing you in person! After reading your blog most every day for over a year- actually seeing you was like meeting a Hollywood star! I was nervous- nerdy I know! Thank you for speaking and for letting me know about the conference on your blog- it was so nice for me to get away from my busy life for a day! And thanks for being flexible when they messed up your schedule- if you hadn't been I might have missed it! Thanks again! -Alma Lee

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    1. You are so funny--it was so nice to meet you too! Thanks for coming!

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  2. WOW! Sounds like you had an eventful day. It also sounds like you did your best to prepare and take everything as it came in stride. I cannot imagine the panic you felt. I would have cried for real, and prayed continuously as I was talking. Glad it went well for you. I know many ladies, young and old, would support you no matter what you did!

    Sounds like you did a great job!

    MB

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  3. That was just a typical night in Asheville! And restaurant waits are always crazy on the weekends. Glad you enjoyed your time up there!

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  4. Asheville IS hippie-land...but I so enjoy my visits there (about an hour from home). There are some YUM places to eat, and of course, the Biltmore House (of which I now am a passholder -- love that place!). Just had to tell you...I have already inquired about next year's Becoming Conference dates. It looks like something my sister and I would enjoy thoroughly!! Excited to see and hear more about it from those who attended this year.

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  5. We vacationed in Asheville this past week and you are definitly right about it being a hippy town!! What a gorgeous place though, hippies and all ;)

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  6. Go you! :)

    I JUST started following you today & am absolutely delighted to learn that you're a Christian. I love meeting fellow sisters in Christ :)
    Eat Cake

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  7. Sounds like an amazingly, hectic, yet awesome time.

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  8. You are a pro....would LOVE to meet you and hear you speak, lucky ladies at your sessions...hope you have relaxed and recovered :)

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  9. glad to hear it went well! i never doubted u :)

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  10. This is totally off subject....but I have you in my favorites and next to your name is a little S. It used to be pink and now it is white. I don't know how those things get changed, but the pink S stood out more and I could find you faster before! Is there a way to change it back?

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    1. It changed with my blog redesign--sorry it's not easier to find!

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  11. Thanks for sharing your challenges and how you handled then. This is as important to learn as anything about the outside! I love how you live your faith.

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  12. Congratulations! I bet it was a beautiful talk. Thanks for sharing how you relied on your faith to get you through.

    Kate
    Something Ivory

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  13. To be so lucky to be the model for your session! I would love to let you have at it on my head! :) Congrats!

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  14. My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed your session. We learned so much! I love your passion and creativity, it was an inspiration to hear you speak. You did a great job!

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  15. My friend and I loved your session! Although everyone was great, you were the only one to give us new and concrete information. We have already teased our hair into craziness and tried the half up-do you demonstrated. :)

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    1. I Love it! Thanks for coming and I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

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  16. Kate, you did so great! My awesome-haired-product-expert best friend sitting beside me said she learned a ton from you.
    If I had your number I would text and tell you some things we talked about later....
    1. (don't tell anyone) but you were the most calm and well-spoken speaker we heard - you were prepared and clear
    2. You mentioned the Lord and spiritual things more than others.
    3. I have great plans for you to give this talk to college women - inner/outer beauty kinda thing. Don't start a panic now but I really think it could be good.
    4. You are a trooper to do that four times.
    5. I so wish I had gotten a hold of you three before going to Asheville! We visited all our faves on Saturday night and Sunday. Went running at Lake Pine today to begin to work it all off.
    6. You going to give me credit for that awesome Instagram pic? Totally 100% kidding. It is blurry!

    Nothing I said is to tear down the other speakers but what I said above is true. I'm so glad you were there and said 'yes' to speaking. Hopefully some scrunchies were tossed out the car windows on the way home Saturday night. I should backspace now....

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    1. Kristin--you are too kind. It was so great to see a familiar face when we had just arrived (even if it was 1,000 degrees in there). You looked adorable btw in your dress and boots!

      Thanks for your encouragement and I would have loved to ride home with you two and hear about the rest of the conference and your re-cap!

      AND THANK YOU for the Insta-pic! :) Sorry, kinda wrote this when my brain was still mush!

      Hoping to plan another fall/winter blog meet-up and you better be there!

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  17. Oh wow, does this conference ever travel to other States...It sounds like something I would love! And to meet you in person, or attend one of your sessions would be awesome...you are my idol and I tell everyone I know about your blog!! :-)

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  18. This sounds like so much fun! For the ones that didn't attend, were any of the sessions recorded? That maybe you could share with us as a post? I would just love to hear it based on what the website said you were going to talk about!

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  19. My best friend and I were in your third session. IT WAS GREAT!!!! I styled my hair the way you showed us in the session and wore it to church the next day. WOW!!! My husband loved it! You have given me some great tips on styling and on products. Thanks! You are a wonderful speaker, you know your products, and you have a talent of being a "teacher" that not only tells us ways to style our hair, but also shows us. I am working on those five hairstyles. I have three for sure! Thanks for showing us your true passion not only to look pretty on the outside, but also on the inside.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it! And I'm glad you are working on your "Foolproof Five"! :)

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  20. I'm sure you were fantastic. I've learned a lot from you and enjoy reading your posts. Speaking is exhausting!! I teach for a living, and I am always ready to fall on the couch when I get home at the end of the day.

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  21. your an amazing hairstylist. I love the yt videos they are so easy to follow at home. congrats this is awesome! was prob. super fun. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  22. that IS a normal friday eve in asheville! kinda wild...did you see all the drummers in the "park" at the center of town?? that was WAY hippie but pretty cool. i LOVE that town and hope to go back (i live eight hours away...).

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  23. Kate you did an awesome job!! I'm so excited to be in a picture on your blog :-D I'm a goober, yes. That's me in the second hair tutorial pic.

    You were so informative in your session! I hope you'll be at the Becoming Conference next year too :-)

    http://hopefaithandblessings.blogspot.com/

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    1. cool! Thanks for being my model--you have great hair!

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  24. That was a lovely post to read - it is always good to see someones vulnerability show through . So honest and full of integrity. No wonder everybody loved you. Well done for pushing through and getting on with the job in hand - and loving it too! Xx

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  25. ASheville is always full of people on a Friday night, just walking around downtown. It's a pretty cool place most of the time, and "hippie" probrobly is a pretty accurate description of the people there. They're kind of 'out there'

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  26. Hey Kate! I was in your first session at the Becoming conference - holding my little baby in the back of the room! I thought you were just great. I totally felt for you when you said your sister and friend were supposed to be there to laugh at your jokes but you did just great without them and didn't even gag! Anyway, you were so funny and so informative. It was the best. Thank you for sharing how you can use all your talents and abilities for God's glory. He is using you for great things!

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    1. You are too kind! Thanks for coming and YES I was so glad I didn't gag!!

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  27. I saw you at Buffalo Wild Wings, how crazy! I thought it was you because I recognized your hair (how strange, I know lol). I wish I would have said hi but I didn't want to bug you at dinner and I wasn't sure it was you. Small world!

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  28. I totally know how you feel on the teaching sessions! I am a crop scientist with a land-grant university and feel that way nearly everytime before I start at a conference. And then I get started. The time just melts away and everyone is so happy and encouraging! You don't even feel tired until you actually sit down at the end of the day (after you come off your 'teaching high'). I truely love it everytime that I teach! It is such a rewarding experience! I am so glad that you had such a great experience with this conference!

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