Monday, September 19, 2011

More than a Hug

A hug is a handshake
from the heart. ~ Anon

I love hugging.  I wish I
was an octopus, so I could
hug ten people at a time.
~ Actress Drew Barrymore

I spent the most wonderful
three days with one of
my oldest and dearest
friends, Kathleen, who
visited us last weekend.
The days were packed
to the gills and although
I could recite a litany of
all that we squeezed in
{or out of} our time
together, one image
continues to surface 
more than any other
and that is


A giant hugger, created by my daughter.

We hadn't seen each
other since May, so
naturally the first thing
we did when she jumped
out of the car was squeeze
each other tight.....And
the same before she left.

She hugged my kids.
She hugged my hubby.
She hugged my dog.

A year ago, I was in Chicago,
freezing meals for Kathleen
as she started chemotherapy.

Friends for 20 plus years : )

This September, we were just
celebrating good friendship
and life.

We attended the biggest
show in the Midwest,
Junk Bonanza, on Friday
morning.  We both love
junking and I was so
excited to introduce Kath
to this fabulous event as
well as some of my fabulous
blogging friends, who were
vendors or shoppers at
the event.

She loved it;
every single thing
about it!

Me, Alison {The Polohouse}, Linda {Itsy Bits & Pieces}
I hugged my blogging pals.
They hugged me.
They hugged Kathleen.
We hugged them back!

There was a contagious,
happy energy at Junk Bonanza.

That afternoon we attended our
first Creative Connection
class.  The CC is another
wonderful event that happily
coincided with Junk Bonanza.
Our class was called Cooking
Clean, led by author Terry
Walters, who is amazing.

Our teacher, Courtesy of
We watched.  We learned.
We were inspired.
We bought the book. 
We hugged Terry. 
 She hugged us.
We hugged a new friend 
we made at our table.
More great energy.

Via Where Women Cook

The Creative Connection had
a marketplace where I ran
into more blogging friends.

Which meant....
more hugs.
More smiles.
More laughs.

We met the enthusiastic Britni,
who was doing PR for an 
awesome charity called 
Enchanted Makeovers.
She was so engaging that ~you
guessed it ~ before we walked
away, hugs flowed freely!

It was just that kind of weekend.

The evening got even better
when the CC hosted an
autograph cocktail party with
 a lot of great how-to authors
in attendance, including one
of my faves for over 20 years,
Susan Branch.

I met Susan Branch!

{Yes, that's us in 
the blurry picture.*}

We had a lovely conversation.
We hugged!
I floated away.
She was as kind and gracious
and just darn adorable as
her books.

Back at home each night,
we hunkered down in our
cozy clothes, nibbled on
goodies, drank wine, poured
over magazines, talked and
laughed.  My family orbited
our conversations, stopping
to join in from time to time
to add to our happiness.

Even Gracie took part; she ADORES Kathleen!
Each evening ended with ~
right again ~
hugs all around.

I miss her already.

I think I'll go find
someone to hug.......!


*Unfortunately, some kind
soul who offered to take pictures
for us inadvertently changed
my camera settings, so most of 
my photos with people came
out blurry : (  Which means, I
have to do it all again, next year!


Linda said...

OH look like you had the most wonderful weekend full of love, friendship, and memories! So happy I was part of it, my friend!!

Kathleen said...

Oh, Suzanne! I wish I was still with you. I needed every one of those hugs! It was a fabulous weekend and I loved reliving it in your post. While I loved all the classes we took and the "junk" we browsed (and bought!), being with you was the "bestest" part of my weekend with one of my VERY BEST "besties." I love you. XOXOXO

Felicity said...

What a heart-warming and truly gorgeous post about a weekend of pure, uplifting delights.

I loved every little morsel from start to finish.
As for your quotes and your daughter's amazing art what a fabulous match!

Biggest of happy hugs from me to you Lovely You!
xx Felicity

michele said...

YOU MET SUSAN BRANCH. that is the coolest! hugs are too. i'm not shy or victimish with my family about the hug deal btw. i don't wait around for these 3 men to hug me. i simply say/whine/insist MAMA NEEDS A HUG. and i get my sugar.


Marie said...

What a fabulous time Suzanne!! How lucky are you to have met Susan Branch! xxoo

Susan T said...

What a weekend - the very best sort - full of hugs - love em!


You met Susan Branch . . . cool.

So glad that you and Kathleen had such a great time. I am sure you were both remembering one year ago. How grateful that she is okay.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

SUZANNE! I WAS AT THE CC and met Koralee from BLUEBIRD NOTES! Talk about hugs...and tears, and laughter...I did not want to let her go. I went to the Marketplace and enjoyed myself so much, but was unable to take a class. NEXT YEAR, I HOPE!!!! Anita

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Bravo! Sounds like a wonderful time. I think one of the things that makes being a woman especially nice is that special "girlfriend" relationship we get to have with other women!

Tracy said...

Suzanne (and Kathleen),

Thank you for sharing a hug with me this weekend. It was my pleasure to meet you both at Terry Walters Clean Cooking session - and then again later in the night at the CC. You made my CC time that much better.

Blessings, Tracy

Cindy said...

What a lovely post! Makes me want to go hug someone! I am happy you had such a fun filled weekend with such inspirational friends, old and new! I want to attend CC in the future, sounds like so much fun! HUGS TO YOU!

Biz said...

What a beautiful weekend!
What a beautiful friendship!
P.S. Your daughters octopus is Ah-MAZING!
I was just commenting on Becky's blog yesterday about my favorite animal and I said that it would have to be octopus. :)

Stuff and Nonsense said...

oh what fun

julie from the little red shop
was there too

do you follow her?

i'm a little bit jealous
of all the girly
quirky fun you must've had

and meeting susan branch?
even better.


Farmgirl Paints said...

uh did i see a giant amperstand?? and a sweet little owl print...what?? oh it looked wonderful and a pic and convo with susan branch. heaven! ugh!!! still in lala land over my mantle. it's so pretty:)))

Sylvia said...

Beautiful friendship,awesome weekend...may your life be filled with hugs and love .I am happy for you and I am sending you a big warm hug !

Olive Cooper said...

Sweet to the tenth power! Your friend looks super good and I am so happy that you two had so much fun and you met SUSAN BRANCH. hugs♥O

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

You are blessed with wonderful women in your life, Suzanne! So happy you had a great weekend with your dear friend!
o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o (virtual hugs!)L.

Susan Branch said...

I have to comment too...the Creative Connection was so big, I think I must have missed 90% of it. Lucky us, we can visit blogs of other attendees and see what we missed! Loved meeting you and Kathleen! Still on cloud nine from the hugs! It was THAT kind of weekend! Love you, love your blog. xoxo

Lili said...

So good to see your friend Kathleen and see how well she is doing! Your daughter's art always amazes me, it's instantly lovable. She is incredibly talented and I adore her creativity! You had such an awesome visit, I can envision the empowering atmosphere there coming from all those hugs! xoxo ~Lili

Tiffini said...

I'm so envious of all your fun! kidding but really - what a blessing you two are to each other. Here's a HUG for you from me today...
thank you for always cheering me up unintentionally..

A Cottage Muse said...

Love to hear the happiness in your post, glad you had fun!

Jill said...

Hello friend,

Well! Look who commented ahead of me THE Susan Branch! I love her - my mom cooks out of her cookbooks - alot! Reminds me of growing up!

You give the BEST hugs, genuine hugs, the real deal...just one of the hundred reasons I love ya!

So glad you had a fabulous time with Kathleen. Maybe next year I will get up the courage to return to Minnesota!!! Ha!

paige said...

comfy clothes magazines wine & hugs with a dear friend sounds like heaven
junk bonanza too!!!
she looks so great!!

Frizzy said...

I love Do OVERS! Especially when the first time around was as much fun as it sounded here!


Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Loved meeting you and your sweet friend, Kathleen.
She was such a doll and I am so glad you too were able to catch up and have so much fun!

Please make sure you and Kathleen BOTH call me when you are in the Chicagoland area again.
Would be so much fun getting together!


Great post.
More hugs from me to you.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Sounds like an incredible day! And my oh my, is your daughter talented!

Anonymous said...

Found your blog via Michele's and loving it :)

It is very important to spread positive energy around us, in this troubled times. Loved your spirit and your post.

Joanna said...

What a brilliant time you've been having, with lots of lovely hugs!

Your daughter's artwork is gorgeous - I popped over to her website, she's a talented girl. I LOVE the barking dog artwork, the way she's shown the barking is fun!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Wonderful Suzanne,

THANK YOU for coming to visit me, with your busy schedule! Oh and I would love to take a class next year at the CC but they are quite expensive for me at the moment....I wanted to also say that your daughter's art is UNBELIEVABLY FABULOUS! She is going somewhere!!!!


Melissa said...

So beautiful S....

K looks so well...I still recall when you first posted about her and what she was going through a year ago...

What a truly wonderful day for you to spend together- hugging creating enjoying time together....

I adore that Drew B comment- I can just hear her saying that!

Melissa- Miss Sew & So

koralee said...

Pure was so nice to see you my friend...and meet your dear dear friend Kathleen. Your lovely smile and kind words made my Friday evening wonderful...hugs to you and enjoy your week. xoxoxo

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I am a total fan of hugging! I just knew you would be too!! I love this post - it sounds as though you had a gorgeous time choccabloc full of love!


June said...

I loved hearing everything about your great time with Kathleen and Junk Bonaza and CC! Oh how lucky were those gals who got a hug from you Suzanne!!!! Wish I was one of them. I loved the picture of you and your dearest friend Kathleen. She is so blessed to have you in her life!
I could feel your happiness through all of your words and what a joy to have stopped by tonight and get to read here.
I come from a long line of huggers, and I so agree with Drew!!!
sending hugs from here...

Lulu and Co. said...

Oh I'm a hugger too!!! What a fabulous time you had with your dear friend!!! Wow what excitement and the best part all the hugs you had....thank you for my morning read I feel like I had a great big hug from you,

Jeanie said...

Hugs really are the best, aren't they? Especially with good friends! So, here's a big hug for you from me, wishing you well and thanking you for giving me some smiles tonight!

Tricia said...

Oh, it looks like you had so much fun!! I know I should've went. I can't believe you met Susan Branch...I LOVE her illustrations.

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Thanks for sharing. It was good for all of you. Do it again next year! xo Jenny


So much fun to spend time with your bestie!!! And what better than doing something that you both love....gosh, does it get any better than that!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful...a hug and the power of friendship. You are so lucky to have one another. I wish I had lived closer to attend the cc, I had been trying to arrange it but it was not to be this year.