I remember when I first heard the term "blogging" being thrown about. It was mostly connected to people "blogging" about politics, economics, social issues, etc. And then it spread. And some of my friends started blogging. So I was intrigued and wanted to know what "blogging" was. I started with a little "blog stalking" as the kids call it - and found the Big Mama Blog. Immediately, after just a few scrolls through a couple of days entries, I knew she was the blogger for me. The one I could read (without knowing her personally of course) and not want to punch in the face for being so perfect. She wrote it all - the highs, the lows, the hilarity of motherhood. She's made me laugh hysterically and also sob at times (no joke and always when you least expect it).
And I ate up every word.
And gosh, I have been for the past 4 years or so I think. My husband doesn't understand. He doesn't "get" going to my handy google reader first thing in the morning and checking out all of the bloggy world updates. He especially doesn't get why I would read about people I don't know. At any rate, her blog is real to me. Her stories are real. And guess what?A couple of weekends ago I found out that Melanie, aka Big Mama, is actually REAL.
She recently published her first book called "Sparkly Green Earrings", a memoir of sorts of her journey being a mama. I pre-ordered back in December and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Not only was I excited to read 200+ pages of her stories, but it was also inspirational to me. Melanie always dreamed of writing a book, yet there were so many times in her life when she thought it would never happen. But God was listening to her silent prayers, the ones she didn't dare utter out loud, and was making a pathway for her to finally write that book. And oh my. How one day I want realize my dream of writing as well. I don't know how it will happen or what it will be about, but I pray that I am being faithful to God's call on my life - and maybe, just maybe, I'll publish a book too. Until then, I have people like Melanie to look up to as inspiration. (I say that like I know her. Y'all, I so don't. But feel like I do. And even as I type that, it seems a little stalker-ish. Promise I'm not : ) )
ANYWAY, Big Mama announced back in January that she would be doing a couple of book signings following the release of her book. And then I saw that she was coming to Houston - and not only that, but to a mall about 7 minutes from my house. I was so thrilled until I flipped open my calendar to discover that I was hosting a baby shower that very day at our house. NOT that I was upset to be throwing the shower obviously - but I was just disappointed that I would be missing the opportunity to finally meet Big Mama.
Well on shower day, I decided that if it wrapped up early enough that I would hightail it to the mall as quickly as possible to see if I could catch the tail end of the signing. So after throwing the leftovers in the fridge and hurriedly wiping down the counters, I jumped in the car and said a silent prayer that I would make it. As I raced into the bookstore, I looked around and saw...nothing. The signing was over. Apparently she had wrapped up ten minutes before I got there. My heart sank. I didn't even realize what a big deal it was to me until that very moment. She had left a stack of books autographed, so even though I had my other copy, I still grabbed a few, one for me and 2 as gifts for my best friends here.
I paid for my purchases and just decided to wander the mall for a bit - and of course, in the back of my mind, I was thinking how cool it would be if I just were to bump into her, at J. Crew or something. But stuff like that never happens to me. I browsed mindlessly and then decided it was time to head home and maybe take a nap. As I was walking back to the entrance of the mall by the bookstore, I happened to glance to my right at the coffee/yogurt shop.
And saw her daughter. And then a table full of people, one of which had to be Big Mama. Even from the back, I knew it was here. My breath sort of caught in my chest --- would I be so brazen as to go interrupt her yogurt and say hello? (And yes, I also realize we are not talking megawatt celebrity here. But as I tried to explain to Matt, while I like to peruse the pages of People, there aren't a whole lot of celebrities I am dying to meet. I mean, it would be cool and all but none of them really mean anything to me. Melanie's writing means something to me - and has inspired me in ways she doesn't know - there's my disclaimer about getting all excited for a writer from San Antonio)
I decided to go for it. So I haltingly walked up to her table and said something terribly witty like "Melanie? I'm so so sorry to interrupt you but I was passing the coffee shop and saw you, and well, I just wanted to say hi." I know. Fascinating, right?
At any rate, next thing I knew she was inviting me to sit down next to her, told me she would personalize the autographed books I had, and we were chatting away. I was telling her what my favorite parts of her book was and we were just talking about life. It may have lasted all of 5-7 minutes but in that time, she could not have been more gracious or more of a blessing to me. Her 8 year old daughter Caroline was kind enough to take our picture as well (and even sign my book too!)
So there you have it. My brush with "fame". And quite honestly, that type of fame is way more my speed. Real people, living real lives, who are using their God-given talents to glorify Him - and seeing their silent prayers answered. Thanks, Big Mama! (Who is NOT "big" at all. Super tiny, beautiful woman with gorgeous hair that I may just envy a teensy tiny bit.)