After a hectic week shopping preselections at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with my clients, a weekend of YLF gatherings were very well timed. I look forward to our gatherings because it’s a great way to meet new forum members as well as catch up with familiar faces. We have a ball. You can’t leave a YLF gathering feeling anything but energized and positive.
Friday’s dinner event in bustling Capitol Hill was energetic, gritty and very loud. We had a wonderful time eating, yakking and walking through the crowds. After ice cream, we said goodnight and “see you soon”, because we were meeting in a larger group the next day for brunch and a day of shopping.
Getting there a little early, I fully expected to be the first person at the Dahlia Lounge for brunch the next morning. But half the attendees were already there, looking as fab as ever. The atmosphere was once again jolly and bustling. Sweet Denise (CocoLion), who flew in from California for the gathering, told me not to look at a table of presents in the corner. I respected her wishes and did some heavy-duty socializing. The morning natter and laughter continued with Janet, JAileen and Deb, who flew in from Maryland, Nevada and California for the event. Seattle locals Anna, Margaret, Ann, Aida and Sharan were wonderfully hospitable and did a great job making everyone feel right at home. Christy, another Seattle local, joined us later.
The morning flew by as we ate ourselves silly with fresh doughnuts before our brunch entree, washing it all down with pots of tea and coffee. As usual, we talked about everything. Out of the blue, I saw a beautiful cake complete with lit candles coming my way. I asked what we were celebrating – to which the ladies responded, YOU. The delicious lemon cream cake was iced with the message “Happy 10th Anniversary YLF“. Oh my goodness!
The cake was a lovely surprise, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.
It turns out that the packages in the corner of the room were for me, Greg and Sam (our Yorkie). The vibrant and very generous YLF community — headed by a global planning committee comprised of Denise, Inge, Suz, Diana, Anna, Svetlana, Janet, Tanya and Deborah — had put their heads together to come up with a way of commemorating and thanking us for a decade of YLF. I was completely unprepared for what was to follow.
I opened the first bright package as Denise read some awfully kind words. Inside was an incredible book of loving tributes from hundreds of Fabbers across the globe sharing how they appreciated YLF. My heart stood still as I processed the effort, affection, thoughtfulness and kindness that went into compiling this gift. I could not believe it.
Opening the book I saw the dedications to our blog stars Jasmine, Rosie and Sam, and that was it. The flood gates opened. Tissues were passed down the table at lightning speed as Ann, who was sitting next me, kept a supportive hand on my shoulder.
I had more tea and cake to compose myself, but it was to no avail. I was touched to the core. I’m disciplined, firm and controlled by nature, but also a sentimental softie who wears her heart on her sleeve. I quickly browsed through the heartfelt and creative extracts from our forum members, and could not stop crying. Showing Greg the book back at home, and reading the tributes in detail, I wept happy tears all over again. This is an incredible gift that I will hold in my heart forever.
As if this priceless book was not enough of a heartfelt thank you to me and Greg from our incredible YLF community – there was more.
The three of us have been given a luxurious holiday at the Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island, along with money to purchase a new set of luggage (our well-travelled suitcases died last year.) And to top things off, a sizable donation was made to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, which happens to be one of our favourite charities.
It’s all too much, and quite surreal.
We are blown away by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the YLF community. My favourite thing about the gifts is that you included those who are closest to my heart – Greg, Sam, and the memories of Jasmine and Rosie. I am the voice of YLF, but it would not exist without Greg. And throughout the YLF decade, our Yorkies have supported and comforted us in the ways that only doggies can. From the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU. These are the priceless moments in life that we carry in our hearts forever because they make the biggest difference. We are deeply honoured and humbled.
After lots of hugs and more tears at brunch, I found the strength to pull it together for our day of fun shopping. I’ve been walking on clouds since Saturday morning, processing the love and loyalty that has been shown by the YLF community. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude, but our hearts are full and we feel very appreciated. Much love to you all. xo