Hi, I'm Courtney, and welcome to my launch party.
First of all, I would like to say that this is my favorite photo from the whole event. Me, looking dorky while Lyndsey tests the settings on her camera? Priceless.
This post will likely be quite random. I showed you yesterday all the details of the party (which were amazing)...and today I get to share a bit about what really made it so special to me...the people.
First, THIS is Lyndsey. When she's not kicking butt in the Crossfit gym or wrangling her four wee-ones, she's working serious magic with the camera...(check out her website HERE...if for no other reason than to listen to the song...it's super catchy.)
Lyndsey is one of the first people I met in Colorado...and she has family in little Dixon, Illinois, my hometown...and her mom lives in Rockford, where I lived for almost twelve years.
What are the odds of that?
I adore this girl. And her photos are fabulous...and she came to my party and captured the entire event for me on film...how do I possibly thank her enough?
*All photos in this post are Lyndsey's. She is pure genius.
I wish I had a photo of everyone who came to celebrte with me, but sadly there just wasn't time...each person who showed up is etched in my memory, which is oozing with gratitude.
I felt so grateful the entire night...
I was surprised when I saw my grandma walk through the door. She'd been in an accident the week before, but there she was...and I'm so happy she came.
These are my girls. When I think back on my earliest friendship memories, these are the girls who are there...I went to high school with them, and even though I was a year younger, they adopted me and became my best friends.
I haven't seen them in FAR too long (since college, maybe?)
...and as I stood with them, in my heart, I wondered, like the women in my novel, HOW did I let myself fall out of touch with them? HOW did I not make sure I stayed in their lives?
Do they know how much I love them? Even when we don't get to talk every day (or even every year?) My only regret is that I didn't get to take them all out for coffee the next morning and catch up on everyone's lives...do you have friends like that? Ones you haven't seen in so long you're afraid to reconnect?
Just call them. I think you'll be happy you did...
I was so shocked/happy/surprised/elated when my blog buddy turned real life friend turned up in Rockford for the festivities...Shannan and I met last year when she joined me for the ACFW conference in St. Louis. You can read about that joyous weekend HERE.
She didn't even get upset with me when she tried to talk to me and I didn't respond because I had ear plugs in. Or when I spilled salad all over the salad bar. Or whipped a giant jug of Coffeemate out of my equally giant purse.
True friendship right there. If you don't know Shannan, get to know her. You won't regret it.
My Uncle Tim, who is an Illinois State Senator, rushed in the door looking all dapper and Senatorial. (Is that a word?)
He and my Aunt Terri have been at every major holiday and family function I can remember. I was so grateful they were there. Especially because I know how busy they are, what with all their political gallavanting and all...
My immediate family was out in full effect too...keeping me company, and in my dad's case, staying up way past his bedtime...
My brother and his family were there, but photos of my brother are sparse...he snuck out without my knowing it...and my sister yakked it up all night long...
(Isn't she purty?)
My girl was there...but my boys opted to spend their evening otherwise engaged. I actually asked Ethan if he'd want to come and he said, "Um, that doesn't sound like very much fun to me."
At least he's honest...
And, of course, Adam was there, bulging disk (disc? Will I ever know which way to spell it?) and all...
Looking back on those few weeks leading up to the party, I'm floored by the number of random things that pulled our attention...things like Adam's back and the threat of him having to stay home...it really was hard not to let that steal my joy. Thankfully, he muscled his way through it and is now fully upright.
And that slight look of angst has left his face.
Overall, it was a night I'll never forget...
And as we flew back to Denver, it occurred to me that I'll never have that kind of party, that kind of signing, that kind of support anywhere else in the world...because those are the people who've always known me...who knew me when I was a little dreamer and didn't discourage me from going after the crazy idea in my head.
(This is my beautiful friend, Kim, who is expecting her first baby VERY soon...and her sister Jennifer and Jennifer's sweet daughter...who seemed to like the book...)
(Have you been to Sweethaven? It's a sweet little ride!)
And while making new friends is one of my very favorite things to do, I can't forget these old friends... because they made me feel like launching my debut novel was really something to celebrate.
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
What about you? Do you have a place where you can go where you always feel uplifted and supported? Tell me about it...it'll make me smile...