Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meeting Those People...

On the weekend of October 8 some of the amazing women and men who work hard to make Natural Parents Network the wonderful community and resource that it is got together for a meet-up at two locations across the U.S. — the Midwest and the Northwest. This was the first time that many of the volunteers have met in person after a year of collaborating on this amazing website. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of links so that you can read what some of the other volunteers had to say about this incredible First Annual Natural Parents Network Team Get-Together!
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When I was kid, there were pictures on the refrigerator of my mom's best friend and her children. These would update every few years. Finally, one year we met the family. And all I could say was that it was weird seeing these people in real life that I had only known as pictures on the refrigerator.

I had the opportunity to relive that awkward moment this weekend when the Northwest contingent of the Natural Parents Network gathered together to eat drink and video meet with the Midwest gathering and a few others on a Google+ video chat. In fact, I said pretty much the same thing when I walked into Moorea's (from MamaLady) home on Sunday. "Holy crap. I feel like I just walked into a webpage." There were these families that I had been watching grow up via their blogs for at least 6 months, some almost a year. Really, I follow these people like others might follow movie stars. It was surreal.

If there is a nook to be found, L1 will find it.


And then...I chickened out. I tried to make conversation. I tried to keep names straight. Mostly I stuffed my pregnant self with yummy foods and tried to keep track of my boys, who seemed much better at the whole "being social" bit than my husband or I was.

L2 making a tromp through the yard, barefoot of course.
These kiddos ran around making themselves at home. If L1 asked me who someone was and I didn't know the  answer he would tell me to go ask. When I hemmed and hawed at that, he walked over and started a conversation. L2 wasn't quite as social, but still attempted to play with the other kids until getting overwhelmed and wandering around making his "over-stimulated" whining drone noise.

All in all, I was glad to start somewhere in meeting all the fine people who work to make such a great online community for natural parents around the world. Though, I hope we get to do it again soon, so maybe I can get to the point of actually talking to them!

Photo credit to Sam and Lauren Wayne

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To learn more about all the members of the Natural Parents Network team, visit our about page. To become a volunteer for NPN, first please check out what we're in need of, then contact us if you're interested in helping out. Here's information about some of our lovely volunteers, including all of those who are writing about the gathering today:

Northwest Gathering Attendees:

Lauren at Hobo Mama writes Meeting My NPN Friends.  Also find Lauren on Twitter and Facebook!

Amy at Anktangle writes Meeting the NPN Family.  Also find Amy on Twitter and Facebook.

Arpita at Up, Down & Natural writes Me And My Ladies ~ First Annual NPN Team Gathering.  Also find Arpita on Twitter and Facebook.

Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings writes Seattle Bloggy Meetup & Gluten-free Shortbread! Also find Kristin on Twitter and Facebook!

Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.  Also find Jennifer on Twitter.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes writes Thanks.

Moorea at MamaLady: Adventures in Lesbian Parenting writes The Natural Parents Are Coming! Hide the Stroller!


Midwest Gathering Attendees:

Dionna at Code Name: Mama writes Wanted: More NPN Volunteers in Kansas City! Also find Dionna on Twitter and Facebook!

Jorje at Momma Jorje writes Vacation Weekend with Volunteers.  Also find Jorje on Facebook!

Amy at Peace 4 Parents writes The Value of Parent-to-Parent Support, Truth, Love, and Healing.  Also find Amy on Twitter and Facebook.

Amanda at Let's Take the Metro writes The Gathering.  Also find Amanda on Facebook.

Joni Rae at Tales of Kitchen Witch.  Also find Joni Rae on Twitter and Facebook

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

Rebekah & Chris at Liberated Family.  Also find Rebekah & Chris on Twitter.


Fabulous NPN Volunteers who were unable to attend:

Melissa at The New Mommy Files writes Building a Modern Day Village.  Find Melissa on Twitter and Facebook.

Rachael at The Variegated Life.  Find Rachel on Twitter and Facebook.

Darcel at The Mahogany Way.  Find Darcel on Twitter and Facebook.

7 comments:

  1. Well if we'd been in the same place, I would have engaged YOU in conversation (shy or not). ;-)

    So many of these women have really "been there" for us and it was so great to meet some of them in person!

    "Walking into a webpage..." I love that analogy!

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  2. I was totally feeling awkward and shy too! It was great to meet you and your boys (maybe re-meet, as I agree I think we've met before somewhere, ha!). Hope we can have more (perhaps less formal) get-togethers soon.

    By the way, I love your hair! So cool!

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  3. I think we were all feeling awkward and shy...but it didn't show up as much as we all were fearing, I assure you! It was really fun to meet you and I second Kristin--your hair is super-cool. =)

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  4. I was so excited to meet you. I had no idea there were so many of us so close together. We love the Everett Children's Museum, if you want to get together some time this winter. In the short time before we both pop.

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  5. I second/third/fourth the other comments. I thought you seemed really cool and only wish we'd had more non-Google-chatting time to face chat. But as you said, I feel the same way that at least we've started somewhere, and now I hope we can do some more casual get-togethers/playdates as they come up.

    Also, your kids are adorable.

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  6. I think I would have felt the very same way if I'd had the chance to make it to either meet-up! It sounds like you made a great impression despite any feelings to the contrary!

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  7. How wonderful! I think I would have felt the same way.

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