Be Yourself. Be Unique.

Feels. Oh the FEELS! 

I spent last weekend in Dallas, TX at Holidays with the Belles hosted by Southern Belle Book Blog.  This is the second time I’ve attended this event and I will say each year it gets better and better.  A huge shout out to Erin, Katie and Shannon for making this a spectacular event

Spending time with those who feed my soul, my energy and my light are exactly what I needed to re-energize me.  Audrey Carlan, Jeananna Goodall, Kylie McDermott and Lana Berry are my book squad, but more than that, they are my people.  They get me, they love me and they support me.  Together we laugh, act a fool and chat about all of our book boyfriends.  

“Go spend some quality time with your face.” <—— This made me almost fall off the bed laughing.  You guys…. when you wake someone up and they don’t want to get out of bed, this is their way of telling ME to go shower and do my face while they sleep.  Anyone else think this needs to go in a book?  There were so many lines like this.  Because we don’t hide who we are and we accept it all.  

The good.  The bad.  The crazy.  It’s what makes us, US! 

Then there was Fifty Shades Darker.  A theatre full of women who love books, stories and couldn’t wait to see one of our own on the big screen.  It was phenomenal to spend a couple hours escaping from reality and falling into the world of Christian and Ana.  The screen adaptation was exquisite.  I loved it so much, we saw it twice!  And I have no doubt, I’ll be seeing it again.  

I had the ability to meet in person and connect with so many people this weekend.  Who knew that hauling boxes for Kristy Bromberg or getting books signed for Kelly Elliott or standing in Brittainy Cherry’s line just to hug her would be highlights of the weekend.  I oogled Staci Hart’s covers and I’m pretty sure I visited her table so many times she may think I’m a stalker girl.  But Staci, I promise, it all comes with love.  Oodles of love!  

Julie Kenner made my total weekend with a hug and some kind words.  Because, she’s just that kind of person!  So thank you Julie!  Shannon O’Neill made me beautiful and we laughed so hard.  I don’t know if I’ve had that kind of day in a long time.  

We even road tripped it to The Bookworm Box to volunteer with Colleen Hoover and the gang.  You guys, this is such a wonderful cause.  I may have purchased some books for giveaways while I was there.  I have to say, there is nothing like a community coming together to purchase books they love knowing that everything they make goes to charity.  Itmakes my heart full.  

Julia Kent accepted a ride from the book squad and we had a blast.  Welcome to the tribe Julia!  I can’t wait to see you again!  

All the way home I reflected about the weekend and I couldn’t find anything to negative to say.  Though, this quote by P!NK kept running through my head.  This weekend I celebrated my uniqueness and who I am with a group of women who are similar to me.  We are each unique in our own way but the one thing we have in common is our love of books.  Our love of stories and the ability to escape.  For me it's the thrill of visiting a new place or a bit of mystery.  It's learning to overcome my past or how love doesn't always reveal itself the way we 'think' it should.  So I hope that each of you have the time to celebrate your uniqueness with your squad who "get's it," whatever your "it" is.  Who celebrates YOU all the time! 

I laughed so hard I wheezed.  Then I coughed.  Then I cried. We made our own bar which made all the things better.  We ate Mexican food, visited Barnes & Noble, saw Fifty Shades Darker (TWICE), met readers, authors, and came together to celebrate a community of books.  Melissa, Dani, Anissa, Celeste, Meghan, Becca and all the wonderful authors, bloggers, readers and everyone from this weekend, thank you.  Thank you for the love, hugs, support and everything. 

Think about what you do to celebrate not only yourself but your friends and their uniqueness.  Oh the feels will be amazing from celebrating life, love and adventures you have when honoring each persons uniqueness!