The time I went to Portland to get coffee.

August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

It all started with a blog post.

This one, to be specific.

Last Thursday, I was trolling through my daily reads and upon reaching one of my faves, I saw that invitation from the one and only Annie Downs (<— click her name and get to know how amazing she is and my zeal to make the rest of this post happen will be completely understandable).

I immediately thought, “She’s so awesome, wanting to meet people. That’s so Annie (which kinda sounds creepy to think but those are the things that you think when you’ve been reading a blog like Annie’s). Wouldn’t that be fun.”

Then: “Huh.  Seems like she’s serious.  What if I went? This could be a life moment, going to meet her. Wouldn’t it be crazy? I mean, Portland’s not that far…”

Then: “Nah. Natalie. What are you even saying? That would be so crazy. So spontaneous. And you’ve never done anything spontaneous in your life.”

Which is pretty much true.  Anyone who knows me would say that I usually take a spontaneous idea and chew on it like a cow does cud, over and over and over until it dies a brutal, over-analyzed death. The general rule of thumb is that I need warning, I need time to plan, I need a chance to take all of the fun and possibility and tuck it nicely into different compartments of Now This is Boring.  [Great. Now no one’s going to invite me anywhere again.]

So I decided not to go. After all, who does that? But I still wanted to e-mail Annie about it just so she would know that she’s the kind of awesome that makes people want to drive out-of-state just to have coffee.

Her reply:

Okay, that was a game-changer.  Now I had to go.  I knew I was going.  Annie Downs had written me back and was up for it.  Having coffee, with me.  So I called Kenny, told him I was probably going to Portland the next day (to which he replied, “Wow. Okay. Okay.       Okay.”), and that was it. I was going to Portland to meet Annie Downs. I was on the road by 7am, listening to Wicked all the way, and meeting The Annie by 10(ish)am on the streets of PDX.

I took two pictures the entire trip.  While driving.  I wish there were more to document the experience, but we can still enjoy my fine let’s-make-this-look-road-trip-y editing skills with these gems.

Annie is an awesome human being.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  Loved every second of our mocha/chai time, talking writing and life and ministry and people (let me tell ya- she knows a lot of cool people) and general encouragement.  Man, it was fantastic.  And surreal. I took notes.  I left with an assignment. I still can’t believe it happened.  But it did and I am so glad.

Following that nudge in my gut was unusual and epic. I hardly know what else to say, which is rare for me, but am challenged to capture the joy and adventure and TOTALLY AWESOME TIME in any other way but caps.  Hopefully, you get the idea.Now, I had to book it back in order to deliver wedding cake to my mother and go to my husband’s 10-year reunion, which are worthy of posts themselves, but 2.5 hours with Annie was perfection, I can’t even tell you. The drive was beautiful, my company was amazing, and a memory was created that will stick with me for sure.

Annie, thanks for being someone who wants to meet people and bless them with time and conversation.  It’s a day I won’t soon forget and feel honored to have hung out with you, feet up on Starbucks chairs, chatting like it aint no thang. Your book (pictured below) is wonderful and I can’t wait to hear how it changes lives.

Everyone, get this book. Now. Do it. For yourself.  For the young women in your lives.  It will open their eyes to who they were created in Christ and it is a book I really wish I had in my hands when I was going through middle school/high school/college.  It would have changed a lot of things for me.  So GO BUY IT. Click on the pretty cover above or better yet, find it here (because her site is so dang pretty), and BUY IT. For birthday gifts. Christmas gifts. It’s Wednesday gifts. It will bless you and others, I promise. God is using this lovely woman in such great ways and her words will resonate.

Phew.  I’m sure there’s more to say, but this is long enough already.  A great weekend indeed.

Now, anyone in Idaho want to have coffee?


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