Five Years in Europe

I’ve been home a couple of days now (sorry it’s taken me so long to post) and as I look back on our European convention, my overwhelming thought is how contagious the energy was and how wonderfully at home I felt.

In my closing remarks, I shared how I’m always a little nervous about our European events because of the language barrier—I worry that I won’t be able to understand what others are saying to me and that they won’t be able to understand what I want to say to them. But—as always!—I had nothing to worry about.

I teared up as I shared how unified and close I felt our European Stampin’ Up! family is. You couldn’t tell who was from Germany or France or England. . . everyone just mingled together, talking and hugging and swapping. It truly was a most amazing experience, and I was so grateful to be there to share it! Once again, I was reminded that we communicate just fine even though we all don’t share the same language—it’s almost magical!

Besides that overall observation, a few other things stand out as convention highlights. We celebrated our fifth-year anniversary in Europe, and we definitely partied! There was a nice celebratory energy throughout the entire event. . . we even had birthday cake!

We also had our first-ever Silver 2 event, a special evening devoted to those who earned the title of Silver 2 or higher. The evening included speaker presentation, tasty treats, and valuable time to visit with people and congratulate them on their achievement. . . the perfect way to kick off convention!

We didn’t have a dinner before our awards night, but we had a fabulous after-party with a live band (who played our theme song twice—the demonstrators loved it!) and lots of finger food. What a great way to end an evening dedicated to recognizing and thanking all our demonstrators. . . especially our top achievers!

Our presentations (both on Main Stage and in classrooms) were wonderful. It always presents a unique challenge to present on the Main Stage and then have your remarks translated into two languages. There’s a bit of a delayed reaction from some of the audience, and you speak a little slower and more carefully. But like I mentioned, not a problem! And I popped into most, if not all, of the classrooms (which were divided according to language), and even when I couldn’t understand what was being said, I could tell by the body language the demonstrators were engaged and listening to what was being presented.

And, while it wasn’t a huge thing, I do have to mention the weather. Our hotel was a 10-minute (or so) walk along the river to the convention center, and I can’t ever remember being at convention when the weather was so pleasant. Good weather is always a bonus for me, and so I loved that we got to enjoy some great European weather. (It did rain one evening, but it was a pleasant rain. . .Sterling and I snuck away for a quiet dinner, and we got to stroll under an umbrella through the charming shopping district, and it was wonderful!)

And, of course, the real reason I go to convention is the people! I’ve mentioned the wonderful feeling of family and unity I felt there, but I don’t mind mentioning it again—I am so thankful to be able to work with such great demonstrators! I enjoyed the time spent with them so much. . . even though I was certainly ready to be home (I’d been gone two weeks!), I didn’t want my time with these amazing, inspiring people to end!

But, like all good—no, great!—things, it did end. And I’m back home, recovering from jet lag and enjoying my wonderful memories! Thanks, all, for helping create them!