In Which I Crash a Newbie Party {and feel right at home}

The swag packing party continued but it was now nearing dinner time. It had been a long time since this crew had stopped at Taco Bell on the drive down…

{September and her daughter Sarah, Diane and her daughter Milan–and me!}

I had the feeling if I didn’t get something substantial to eat soon, my blood sugar would plummet beyond the point of no return.


I knew as soon as I had climbed out of September’s van into the Hotel’s parking area that I was officially, fully, and completely outside of my comfort zone. We were in downtown Harrisburg. Skyscrapers dominated my view of the sky, and I knew if I was going to step outside of the hotel at any time during the weekend, it would only be if I was holding a grown-up’s hand.

But dinner was out there…somewhere. I looked around for someone’s hand to hold. There was Shannon, and a few other friendly faces, talking about going to an Italian place around the corner. Great, I’d hitch a ride with them.

Little did I know that in piggy backing on their dinner plans I was actually presuming to be included in their reservations at a two-fork, upscale Italian eatery with a menu I couldn’t pronounce. They just happened to have a cancellation which made room for little me, and they were so gracious about me joining them, I didn’t even realize till we were all sitting down that this whole dinner had been planned in advance, and that I was crashing a well-planned, pre-allume, newbie get-together!

Funny thing was, despite the fact that I wasn’t technically a newbie anymore, I felt right at home. I well remembered my first Allume, and how much courage it took to be the new girl in a conference full of women who all seemed to know each other and have it all together already. I was carrying my own bundle of nerves this year due to my speaking commitment, and the newness of being at a different hotel. It felt so good to settle my nerves with laughter in the welcoming circle of these sweet women.

And dinner was lovely, too. Shannon even helped me order. Have I mentioned that I love her?

We shared Beef and Cheese Calzone with–get this–Red Onion Marmalade. Oh, and the salad? Had butternut squash in it. I have never had winter squash in a salad. The food was amazing, but the company was even better…

I sat across from Jennifer, which was so fun ’cause I had just watched her husband’s hilariously creative hack on her blog the day before. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity.

Then there was Janelle who I found shares my entrepreneurial interests (she’s just opened a boutique in her town) and my goal to rid my life of perfectionism. She shared with me this quote:

“Perfectionism fosters loneliness and isolation.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Then there was Lindsey, who I knew I would love from the description on her business card, “Christian. Wife. Mom. Weirdness Magnet.”

On my other side was Amanda and Jennifer, two beautiful women with whom I felt an immediate connection, and then around the end of the table, too far for me to talk to, but sharing laughs and business cards with nonetheless, were Katie and Nancy and Rachel, and Jami, and–and, I think I may be forgetting someone, but I’m pleading my fatigue and low blood sugar from having any clearer memories of the group!

Anyway, it was a lovely dinner and really just another way the Lord provided for me and met me in my weakness that weekend. These sweet women reached out to me, the one who should have been relaxed and savvy but wasn’t, and spoke encouragement and affirmation and blessing into my life when I was feeling desperately inadequate.

Gideon’s band was growing. (which, technically, is not what Gideon’s band was supposed to do. I realize I’m stretching the metaphor here folks, but bear with me! lol)


11 responses to “In Which I Crash a Newbie Party {and feel right at home}”

  1. […] Holden is a force of nature. She “crashed” our newbie dinner and I had the honor of sitting across from her. She is right crazy and I love […]

  2. Lindsey Schonberg Avatar

    I am so glad we all braved the “weird food” restaurant! I am even more glad and grateful for you ladies befriending me! You, Trina, are a force to be reckoned with! 🙂 Your encouragement and vulnerability helped me immensely! At the conference and at home. Thank you!

  3. Katie Avatar

    Trina!!! I am SO glad I was able to meet you! Thank you for your transparency and your heart for the Lord! You are truly a breathe of fresh air! So glad you “crashed” the party!

    Thanks for letting Jennifer and I crash your room “party” HAHAHA!

  4. shannon coe Avatar

    I am in awe of your memory! This is you with mommy brain? Impressive! Sitting around that table is one of my fondest memories of Allume. I am so glad you came with us and made us laugh and feel comfortable. You made ME feel comfortable. I absorbed the happiness you sent out…

  5. Nancy Avatar

    That was a fun dinner all the way round! and it was indeed a long table! We were all blessed that night in so many ways and especially by your presence and your beautiful smile that starts at your mouth and explodes in your eyes! Love me some rollicking laughter! Looking forward to another installment! N

  6. Rachel @ day2day joys Avatar

    I was so glad to meet you Trina! You seem to be in your element at Allume, walking around, making everyone feel welcome, and having fun! And thank you for your book, I am loving it already!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Rachel, you are so welcome, glad you’re enjoying it! And I appreciate you and your husband’s generosity with your naturopathic wisdom!

  7. Jennifer kindle Avatar

    The Lord put you there for us. Ive hung on to every word of wisdom you offered the entire weekend. I thank my God for you upon every remembrance and I pray for you as he leads!

    1. Trina Avatar

      wow. all I can say is “Praise God.” It’s too cool, how He works. And thanks for your prayers. I’m in a season of needin’ them. I’m so grateful we met, Jennifer.

  8. Jennifer Lambert Avatar

    I am so glad you “crashed” our party! I loved meeting you and sitting across from you at dinner. And that salad was ah-may-zing! You’re amazing too. Xo especially in an Afro wig. 😉

    1. Trina Avatar

      Hey, how about I loan you the wig for your next vlog? it’ll be nearly as memorable as your husband’s vlog…LOL

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