The day Cary Elwes said "As You Wish" to me

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My love of all things Princess Bride is well known and well documented. It's my all time favorite movie and book. So, when Bill and I found out that it was going to be playing in a theater in Chicago on Valentine's Day, it was a no brainer. My friend, Ruth, owns an amazing shop in Barrington (check it out here ), and there is a particular line of jewelry that I love, called Lenny & Eva. They have beads and sentiments that you can mix and match. She was getting some new sentiments and was going to get one that said "As You Wish" just in time for Valentine's Day. I told her I NEEDED it or I WOULD DIE. I am pretty sure that was my exact text. She put one aside for Bill. He gave it to me a day early so that I could wear it to Rori's school party.

After the party, my friend Liza and I decided to go to Ruth's store because my mom had given me a gift certificate and I wanted new beads for my new sentiment, and Liza had never been there and had some birthday money to spend. We chatted with the manager and she asked what our plans were for Valentine's Day. I told her we were going to see the Princess Bride and how much I loved it. She told me that she thought she had just read that Cary Elwes was coming for a book signing (He wrote a book about the making of The Princess Bride--of course I already owned it, but I would be happy to get a second, if it was signed). I made a mental note to look up when and where. By the time I got home, I had forgotten.

The next morning (Valentine's Day), Bill and I were enjoying a lazy Saturday waiting for our hot date--dinner at 4:00 (don't ask, that's what happens when you wait to get reservations) and then the movie at 7:30. I remembered that Cary Elwes was going to be in town and I wanted to see when, so I googled. I discovered he was going to be 40 minutes away at 2:00 THAT DAY!  I took a chance and called the bookstore and they said there would still be tickets at the door and the doors opened at 1:15. It was 11:45. Bill had to go get Rori from AWANA practice at noon, so while he did that, I hopped in the shower and planned to talk him into trying to go to the signing instead of downtown. THIS WOULD BE MY DREAM! By the time I got out of the shower and dressed, I had talked myself out of it. I figured there was no way we would get there in time, and if we got there, there wouldn't be tickets left. However, my dear husband came home with Rori and said, "Let's go!" This was not like us at all. We are way more practical and not this adventurous.

We dropped the kids at Bill's parents house, and he drove as fast as he could to Naperville. The closer we got, the more sure I was that we weren't going to be able to get tickets. Bill said he could see my half full glass slowly leaking the whole drive. He knows me well. We got there at about 1:30 and Bill dropped me at the door, I ran in and was able to get a book (which came with a ticket to see the Q&A and have it signed). I was beside myself! We got amazing seats for the Q&A portion. I was bouncing in my seat and I told Bill it was the best day ever (minus our wedding day and birth of my children). I could not believe we had pulled it off. Cary was charming, funny, and humble. After the Q&A, he went out to the lobby to begin the book signing, and they played the movie for us in the theater while we waited for our number to be called. I may have stalked him in the lobby a few times, while waiting for our turn. The movie played 2 full times before we were able to get in line. The poor man had been signing for over 3 hours.

I was trying not to be the creepy stalker that couldn't wait her turn, but I am certain I have no dignity left
Before the signing, they had announced that there would be no staged pictures--everyone would have to stand in front of the table and Cary would be behind, for efficiency. I saw him come out from behind the table a handful of times--usually to take pictures with people who had babies with them. I looked for a baby to borrow, but noone would oblige. There weren't any puppies around either. I had all kind of clever things to say to him when our turn would come. However, when it was our turn, I could hardly breathe, I was still shocked about the whole thing. I told him I was going to cry and he got up from behind the table and gave me a hug and whispered, "As you wish." in my ear. I DIED! I told him I'd loved him since I was a little girl. He thanked me, and said other things, but I can't remember because he said AS YOU WISH to me--WHISPERED IN MY EAR!

His leather jacket was so soft ;) 
Then Bill asked him if Pierre Desperaux was a good or bad guy (his ambiguous character from Psych). He asked Bill if he liked that character and Bill said he loved him. Cary asked Bill if he could record him saying that for the producers. Cary pulled out his phone and Bill happily obliged. Cary is a true class act, to treat everyone as though they were the first ones to come through the line, not the 400th.

I think the reason I was so overcome was because of the crazy way this all came together. I had no time to process that I was going to get to see "Westley" in real life. It was such a gift. It's a story that I will be telling my children about forever. Rori said I've already told her a billion times, so if any of you want to hear it again, I will happily share it.

IF:Gathering 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I had been looking forward to this Friday and Saturday for a year. It was the IF:Gathering. Last year was the first year of the IF:Gathering, and noone really knew what it was about; I was curious and watched it on my computer. There were several Godly women teaching and sharing their stories. Leslie and I were both really excited about it. I suggested we get some women together and watch it the next year. She is an even bigger dreamer and arranged for a hundred women to watch it together at Willow Creek church. Leslie is awesome ;)

Anyway, on Tuesday, Brendan came down with the vomits. On Wednesday it hit Rori, and Thursday it hit Liam. I could NOT miss IF!!! I prayed, I Lysoled, and I refused to kiss Bill because he could be a carrier. I told him that I could kiss him all he wanted on Saturday night, but not until then. God, in His mercy, spared me (for now) and I was able to go. 

Oh my goodness, what an amazing, incredible, energizing, exhausting, uplifting experience. I played hookey from church today to decompress. I am an introvert, so spending the last two days as an extrovert took all of my energy. The thought of being around more people--even if they are wonderful Godly people, just makes me want to hide in my bed or rock in the corner. So Bill took the kids to church and I was able to sit and re-watch some of the speakers from the weekend. 

I came away with some amazing thoughts. I still have no idea where God wants me to be, but I know that it's ok to figure out my interests, pursue them, and see if I am good at them. What is important is that I take steps and move forward. I have always been very vocal that I am happy with the status quo. I don't like change. It terrifies me. But, what terrifies me more, is the thought of going to Heaven and God showing me a slide show of what I missed because I didn't take that first step out in faith--that I was scared and stayed in the past and refused to move into new seasons of life. 

I think the reason that I enjoy the past is because I am scared of the future, scared that my gifts aren't big enough. That they don't do enough for the Kingdom. Angie Smith taught me that it's ok if my talents aren't the same as my mom, Jenna, Leslie, Laura, Liza, Ruth, Yvonne, Sonja, or any of the other amazing women with a heart for Jesus that I know. It's ok if I am not the leader, the visionary, the dreamer. I can be just a cheerleader. I can be just an encourager. And that is enough. 

Lynn Hybels shared that what is important is that Rori sees me doing what God put in my heart. That I find out what is mine to do for the Kingdom, not what belongs to someone else. I need to give her permission to find what is hers and encourage her to walk her path. And frankly, I think it's important for me to show my boys as well. They will be able to encourage their wives to follow God's path for their lives as well.  

If you have time today (they are only going to be posted through today), I encourage you to check out some of the speakers--I highly recommend Jen Hatmaker, Christine Caine, Angie Smith, and Lynn Hybels. Be encouraged, 
Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”