Norah and I attended the Circe National Conference in downtown Charleston together again this year.
My mom and sister live nearby (in Summerville), so we stayed with my mom.
The conference was Thursday-Saturday, but we came early, arriving Monday, in order to have some quality time with my family before the conference began and we'd be too busy to see much of them.
Monday, we flew in and arrived in time to have dinner and visit for a few hours till bedtime.
Tuesday, we slept in and Mom made biscuits and gravy for brunch. Then I ran some brief errands for her. (My daughter is still talking about those biscuits a week later, and I'll admit, I'm still thinking about them. They were delicious.)
We spent the largest part of the day with my sister at Mom's pool drinking ice-cold wine coolers and beers and talking (and getting a sunburn.)
We also had outstanding naps and some gourmet pizza that day.
It was just a nice time with family without any commitments.
Wednesday, my friend Jessica, who was also coming into town for the Circe National Convention, came with us to my mom's pool and brought her kids.
We shared a cooler of ice-cold sodas and waters and lots of healthy, hearty snacks, and we swam for hours.
That evening, Norah and I invited my youth ministers in high-school/ mentors during my college and early marriage and career years, Bob and Kathy, to dinner.
But Bob and Kathy also happen to be local Christian school administrators, and Kathy loves and esteems me so highly that she asked me to meet with some of her teaching staff (via Zoom) to share some techniques for teaching critical thinking skills.
I was flattered to be asked to share anything with full-time educators, but I flatter myself that I actually did some good. I have a lot of confidence in what I am doing in our homeschool, and I am seeing a lot of real fruit at this point in my journey. But I kept my comments brief, and most importantly, pointed their staff toward resources (like Lost Tools of Writing and Circe, etc.) that have done me the most good through the years.
Dinner with Bob and Kathy was lovely. We reminisced and gave glory to God for all He has done and is still doing. It was nice to let them get to know Norah better. They've loved me like a daughter since before I was Norah's age, and they've loved her her whole life and cheered me on every step of motherhood and homeschooling, but they haven't been able to be a big part of our lives since we've moved so far away.
All day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Norah and I attended the Circe National Convention together, just like last year.
Throughout the conference, Norah and I sat with my dear friends from the Circe Apprenticeship.
Norah built her own friendship with these precious ladies over the days of the conference, and this just delighted me.
It was glorious to share such godly women with my now-grown daughter, and it was a reward to see such godly women really enjoy my daughter's company, too.
It was another indicator to me that I have done well.
I'm not boasting.
I simply mean to say that if godly people can take delight in your children and then they tell you how delightful your children are, etc. you can have confidence that you've done well by God's grace.
After the conference ended, we grabbed a quick meal, and then Norah and I started the long journey home, navigating airports and flights and lines and loud, bumpy plane rides all evening.
Dwayne picked us up at the airport in New York and then kindly let us sleep on the drive home, wake up long enough to basically crawl upstairs into our beds with our clothes still on, and sleep on until the morning.
It was an exhausting trip, as always, but enriching.
Our hearts and minds are full.
It was a reward and a delight to see family and friends that are like family and attend my favorite educational conference with my beloved daughter.