Thursday, August 20, 2009

{Major Recap}

To say that life has been crazy busy lately would be a major understatement. So much has been going on that I've not had time to blog like I'd like to. Therefore, this post is going to be a big recap of just the two highlights of the past two weeks. I haven't edited any of the photos, so you'll have to excuse the redeye and darkness of some of the pics!

The first major event was Clara's FOURTH birthday. She's 4!!! Even though Dixon is now the youngest member of our family, I still think of Clara as my baby. I can so vividly remember being pregnant with her and of course, her delivery was the most memorable one of the three due to some extreme circumstances that I won't get into here. Bottom line is, my baby is four! And isn't she adorable?

We celebrated with a family party at our house. She wanted a princess party, so the cake and balloons were all princess themed. That's as far as I took the theme as I didn't think family would want to dress up and play princess games. :)

Even when Clara is at her worst, she is one of the sweetest, most snuggly, loving little girls on the planet. I simply love her to pieces.

Happy Birthday, my princess!

Last week was a BIG one. Tastefully Simple holds its annual National Conference in Minneapolis and it's a must do for anyone who really wants a strong business. This year I faced the challenge of traveling with an infant. I hate to fly because I get motion sick so easily, and I was somewhat nervous about how Dixon would do on a plane. Because I'm nursing, I didn't want to take any meds that would affect him.

Soooo . . . everything went well until the plane began to descend. Did I spell that right? Anyway, it was a bit of a rough descent and I quickly became sick. Cold sweat, dizzy, nauseous, the whole works. Dixon was a champ during the entire flight, but I was miserable at the end. To complicate things even more, we ended up on a wild goose chase to find our Super Shuttle that would take us to the Hilton. We rode on countless elevators, walked through a parking garage and two terminals, and rode on two trams only to find out that the shuttle was waiting for us right outside of baggage claim the whole time. Ugh! Then the shuttle turned out to be packed full and had no air conditioning. I was ready to curl up in a ball and die by the time we got to the hotel.
I was so miserable that I stayed in bed and watched Mama Mia while everyone else went to the Mall of America. Yeah, that's how badly I felt. I had to pass up the Mall of America. But by the end of the movie I had ordered room service, slowly eaten, and was feeling more normal. So I packed up Dixon and headed out to the Mall to meet my mother and sister.
I just had to take a picture of Dixon's first trip to the "big mall", and here was the perfect boy photo op:
Should I have taken his pic in front of the amusement park instead?
The next day session didn't start until noon, so a huge crew of us went to Hell's Kitchen for breakfast. If you ever get a chance to eat at Hell's Kitchen, do it! It's worth it for the homemade peanut butter alone!
Everything about this restaraunt is funky and gothic. There are bizarre things all over the walls and everything is red, black and white. I noticed on the menu that kids could get a tattoo for every year of their lives, so I asked for one for Dixon. The waitress brought him a parrot! Check out the forearm:
This is the chandelier that hangs over the steps that lead downstairs into the restaraunt. Cool huh? Makes you want to recreate it for your own home, right?
National Conference is the biggest and best conference of the year. This year there were over 1,900 consultants in attendance. The energy was unbelievable! The theme this year was Livin' Loud, and this is what center stage looked like when we first arrived:

And here are some yahoos, I mean friends, who were really livin' loud!

Conference is the BEST way to get to know other consultants and to bond more with your own team. For me, it's also an amazing time to spend partying and celebrating with my rockin' sister who always is on stage receiving numerous awards for building such an incredible business.

You would never know that once upon a time we couldn't stand one another! Love ya, Jen!
I was very fortunate that my mother was willing and able to come along to Minneapolis with us to take care of Dixon while I was in session. She traveled all over the city with him, snuggled him, bathed him, and loved all over him. It was awesome to know he was in the best hands possible while I couldn't be with him. It allowed me to relax and enjoy the conference. Thanks, Mom!

My amazing upline, Karen Huntley, held a team dinner Friday night at the Hilton. We ate a yummy Italian meal and then laughed ourselves silly doing fun games that revealed a LOT about us. I sported a glitzy guitar "tattoo" to the event courtesy of Jen.
This photo just has trouble written all over it. Jen had smuggled a bottle of wine into the restaraunt, singing ensued, and we heard stories that had us ready to pee our pants.

Allow me to introduce my first team member to join me at Nationals, the amazing Carol Heizer-Wojciechowski! Woot Woot!!! We had a great time together and I doubt she'll miss another conference after this experience.

And my amazing, inspiring goal buddy, Linda Reeves. How I adore this lady!

Saturday night was the big awards dinner and celebration. The top achievers for the year are recognized on stage. Their stories never fail to bring me to tears. This year Jen was one of 17 or 18 to earn a brand new award, Shining in Leadership. This basically means she had bangin' sales, added many new team members to her team, and helped several of her team members grow teams of their own. She was given a gorgeous silver bracelet for this acheivement. We're all so proud of her!

Here is most of the team at the awards celebration:

Sunday was the last day at we had the pleasure of enjoying a performance by Mike Rayburn. He plays the guitar like no one else and has a fantastic message about goal setting that he weaves throughout his performance. Check him out on YouTube!

Our five days in Minneapolis were unforgettable and I'm already looking forward to next year's conference. But there are lots of other conferences and trips between now and then: DC, Nashville, and Orlando! Plus, a brand new incentive is about to begin and I will earn a trip for the whole family to go to Coronado Springs Resort in Disney World in 2011! What an amazing company Tastefully Simple is!
The unveilings were huge: new HOST PROGRAM (if you've ever thought about hosting a fun party, NOW is the time!), new compensation plan (we'll make even MORE moolah!), new product line (can I just say Chocolate Mousse Dessert?) and more. I'm pumped, I'm jazzed, and I'm ready to live loud!

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