Posts Tagged ‘@Shannhatfield’

Sometimes the most amazing, wonderful experiences come your way when you least expect them.

Back in September, Captain Cavedweller and I were in Pendleton for the Pendleton Round-Up. He decided to make one more pass through the hundreds of vendor booths so I claimed a spot on the bench surrounding the big bronze statue right outside the Round-Up grounds and checked my emails.

One in particular jumped out at me. It was from Debbie Macomber’s executive assistant (as in the Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling author who has more than 200 million copies of her books in print) asking if I was going to be attending the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference.  If so, Debbie extended an invitation to join her for coffee or lunch.

I almost dropped my phone.

Hands shaking with excitement, I looked up the conference details and quickly checked to see if I could still register to attend, since until that moment had not planned at all to attend.  Even if registration was closed, I figured I could catch a flight to Nashville the following week and still meet Debbie.

Since I live less than six hours away from Debbie, though, I replied that I would happily book a flight to Nashville if I could get one, but if Debbie was open to the idea, I could also drive to her hometown and meet her there at her convenience.

Thankfully, an appointment was set up to have lunch with her in Port Orchard. Even better, the scheduled date to meet her fell at a time when Captain Cavedweller had the time off and could go with me.

With jangled nerves, I went to her office and met her incredible staff (that includes her beautiful daughter, Adele, who is the CEO of Debbie Macomber, Inc.) .

They were all so friendly, welcoming, and gracious.

Then I met Debbie.

Debbie Macomber and me.jpg

(Please ignore the fact I look like a drugged whackadoodle! We all know how much I enjoy having my photo taken – but this was Debbie! I had to have a photo!)

She’s even more fantastic in person than I imagined she’d be.

Debbie is absolutely lovely. And so kind. And warm and generous and sweet. Perfectly wonderful.

Adele and Ashley, the brand’s marketing manager, (and both are just fabulous women) joined us and we had a delicious lunch where they answered any question I asked and shared a wealth of helpful information.

My heart was filled to overflowing with the joy and graciousness and willingness to lift others up that I experienced with these amazing individuals.

I’m so, so glad I brashly asked if I could meet Debbie in Port Orchard (the inspiration for her Cedar Cove series) and so grateful Debbie and her staff made it happen.  Not only is Port Orchard a delightful town, it will forever be etched in my memory as the place I met Debbie Macomber.




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think happy

The assignment for this week’s happiness list is to list the greatest compliments and encouragement you’ve ever received.

I should probably preface this by saying my “love language” is words. When someone says something kind or encouraging, it truly means the world to me.

Here are a few compliments that have stayed with me over the years:

  • One day in my high school English class, the teacher told us our assignment for the day was to study one person in the room and share something positive about them. Some of the compliments were silly or funny, others heartfelt and sincere. I have no recollection of who I chose or what I said (probably something very brief because I hated speaking up in class). But I will always remember the compliment I received. It was from one of the “popular” boys… he looked at me and said “her eyes are always so bright and interested, like a sponge just soaking up the world.”  Yeah, pretty profound for a 17-year-old, right?
  • I was two weeks into my sophomore year of college and realized continuing as a business major was going to be a colossal mistake. So I went to the office to see if I could drop the business classes and switch to communications. The adviser assured me I’d be so far behind, I’d never catch up and I’d have to wait until the beginning of the next term to change. I assured him I could not only catch up for that quarter, but also catch up on the rest of the classes I’d need to graduate on time. The dean of the college happened to walk by. I wasn’t arguing with the adviser and hadn’t yet resorted to tears or begging, but he must have sensed my desperation because he stopped and asked what was going on. The adviser told him what I wanted to do and that it was impossible. The dean pulled up my grades from my freshman year, looked at the classes I wanted to take, and then turned to adviser and said, “this girl can do anything she sets her mind to. Let her switch.” I worked so hard and took so many credits, I only had to attend one quarter my senior year before I left for an internship and graduated early. Knowing someone believed in me, made such a difference.
  • Someone I thought was a friend had really disappointed me (as in devastated by something cruel they’d done). I’d mentioned it to my mom but hadn’t said anything to my dad about it. You have to keep in mind my dad was not one to offer words of wisdom, he’s always been more of a show than tell kind of guy. So when he wrote me a note and said one of the traits he admired most about me was that I was always a good, loyal friend, even when others didn’t deserve it, it really touched my heart.
  •  Captain Cavedweller and I had gotten dressed up for a special occasion to go out to dinner. I had a new black dress I’d been saving to wear and had even gone to the hairdresser to have her put my hair up. When I walked into the living room, he sat on the couch, impatiently jiggling his foot since we’d have to hurry to make our reservation. The jiggling stopped and he got to his feet, all the while holding my gaze in his. And he said three little words I’ll always remember – “You are beautiful.” Not you look beautiful, but you are beautiful. That meant so, so much to a girl who’s always thought she looked more like a goofball than anything else.
  • Every time (I’m not kidding – EVERY TIME) someone tells me they loved a book I’ve written or they enjoy my writing or how something in one of my stories touched their heart or made them laugh, it makes my heart light and full of happiness for days. So my heartfelt thank you to you all for lifting me up and continuing to do so! ❤

I hope you’ll take a moment or two this week to list the best compliments or encouragement you’ve received. It really will make you smile and give you a reason to count your blessings.

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