After my epic and amazing Thursday and Friday I was on a happiness high already, but that did not make the alarm clock at 6:00 am Saturday any easier to hear! I know if you read part one you are wondering why I set my alarm that early!
For those of you who do not know, I have the honor of serving as President of our church's ladies group, Philoptochos. Essentially, our name means, "friend of the poor" and we try our best to serve our community in that way. Saturday morning we hosted a hands on serving event, we made blankets for the local children's home.
I was amazed at our turnout, though some may think five ladies is a small group, in comparison to the size of our church and our Philoptochos roster this was a great turnout! We finished four no-sew blankets and made huge progress on three quilt-like blankets. All in under three hours!
I love these ladies with all my heart, and being that I have no 'family' in North Carolina, my church makes up a big part of who my local family now is. I started off my Saturday being reminded of why just knowing these amazing women has blessed my life immeasurably! As I locked up the church and walked to my car I thought even if nothing else great happened that day I would have had an epic weekend for that interaction alone!
We loaded up our van and were off to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the second time in two days. Just that morning alone was epic enough for me. I was not expecting anything super special, just some good fun with some great friends. I had no idea that it would turn out to be the best day I've ever had at a race track!
We arrived, parked, turned off the car and called some friends we were supposed to meet. They had saved us a parking spot! So we hopped back in and drove a few rows down to where they were tailgating. After some happy dances, tweeting and pictures I tried to text another friend I was supposed to meet. He tried to call me but I had no signal. I tried to climb on top of the van to get one. Literally! I tried this at least three times throughout the day, it made my friends laugh. I like to make my friends laugh, maybe next time I'll actually get up there and dance! Ha!
I used my friend's phone to call him back, left a voice mail, then hubby and I decided to head to the infield for what was left of the Blake Shelton concert. When we got inside I got a text from my friend Jordan. Finally, I had enough signal to call him, we met up, hugged and went in search of Jeff Gluck's infamous tweetup! The hug is epic that's why it made it in here, I love hugs - just warning you now that if we've never met and we someday do meet there will be hugging involved!
We're walking back and forth near the scoring pylon because that's where this tweetup is supposed to happen when I make eye contact with someone who looks at me like they know me. They said, "Are you..." and as they trailed off I said, "Looking for the tweetup? You bet!" They said, "No, I was going to ask if you're Momma Bear?" (For my non-Twitter friends, I'm Momma Bear to my Twitter family!) "Oh my gosh, yes I am!!" "You'll never guess who I am." At this point I am trying to scroll over 800 faces of people who follow me and I'm coming up with nothing. "I'm sorry, you'll have to tell me, I don't know." They gave me a big grin and said, "I'm A Checkered Flag!" More hugs!!!
After a little more walking around the general vicinity of the scoring pylon, we found the tweetup! David Ragan was there! He signed my hubby's hat!! It now has James Buescher, Miguel Paludo & David Ragan's autograph's on the front of it! We saw Mike Calinoff & Brandon Igdalsky. Mike said hi from across the crowd. Mr. Igdalsky shook our hands and told us to come on up to Pocono!
Jordan took the lead with getting Jeff Gluck's attention. Jeff was gracious enough to listen to our whole spiel about the #TMSFanCrew. Then he asked me to send him an email with the #TMSFanCrew info in it on Monday (already sent BTW) and he would see if he could at least get a tweet out for us. Considering the man has a following of over 28,000 awesome people this is pretty epic in and of itself but add to that how cool he was plus the picture I now have with his arm around my shoulder, just wow!
As if the day wasn't amazing enough already, I can't stop there, nope, don't worry there's more! So, I'm talking with Jordan about the wow factor of the epic (yes I use this word a lot!) conversation with Jeff Gluck...and I'm laughing about how I told him to watch for tweets from Momma Bear...when I hear some one give an excited OMG to my left. Well, I immediately start looking around thinking someone super famous has showed up! But a second later I hear, "You're Momma Bear? OMG You're Momma Bear! I totally follow you!" Can I tell y'all that between@acheckeredflag & this follower who I'm so sorry I didn't catch their name (message me if you're reading this so I can fix??? Please???) I was feeling so honored and humbled. My Twitter family makes me feel like a rock star for real. In fact, in honor of how y'all made me feel I barely took my sunglasses off the rest of the day!
We're looking around trying to decide if we see anyone else we know or know of when I looked over and saw someone who looked familiar. I asked Jordan who it was. He took a minute to follow my gaze, then said it was none other than Bob Pockrass! While Jordan made his way over to try to get a chance to speak with Bob, I ran into another friend, Crystal. More hugging! I made my way over to Jordan and Bob just in time for me to fill in a little bit of the 'who we are' for the #TMSFanCrew. Another picture was taken and another email was requested!
Jordan and his buddy Alex headed in search of food while George and I headed back to the tailgate party, more epic hugs first of course! We got to the van as our friends were packing up to head inside and I got a call from my awesome friend Amber (more standing almost on top of my van!) and she headed over to hang out with us. We met up with Amber and walked around a little bit before she had to head in to work and we had to head in to the track for the festivities. Of course there were some more epic hugs here!
All these epic hugs and pictures and conversations just kept making this day more and more epic. When I thought it could not get any better I get a text message from none other than my dear Twitter friend, Laura! We met by my gate and let me tell y'all: she gives the best hugs, like ever! I only wish we had been able to spend more time together. But we all had a race to go see!
We found our section and before going up we noticed they were letting people stand by the catch fence. We walked over and took some fun pictures to tweet to @TheCatchFence (if you're not on Twitter just ask me later! LOL). We asked the Guest Services man if we were allowed to stay there and he pointed to the yellow line and just said that while the cars were racing we had to stay behind that line. Really? SO COOL!!!
The rest of my night is a blur, but here's the highlights:
*Met a guy who's sister works in NASCAR, I now follow him on Twitter!
*Chatted for a few minutes with some sponsors from Carlisle (Brad K & AJ Dinger's cars)
*Made friends with two Guest Services guys, got pics, handshakes & hugs
*Screamed my head off with what little voice I had as JR raced his way in to the All Star Race!
*Chatted & cheered with a guy who said he used to race with Trevor Bayne way back when (said he knows my buddy too, have not confirmed but cool nonetheless!)
*Got a golf cart ride back to my van "rock star style" for the 'after party'
*Last but not least, our after race tweetup/taligate party was crashed by the obligatory drunken fans who could not find their car (they said they were parked a few rows over but I'm not convinced!)
So here it is two days later and I still haven't found my voice, I'm still flying high on the memories and I'm even more stoked about the #TMSFanCrew than I ever imagined I could be! I can't list all the people and blessings I am thankful for. I am too blessed, I cherished every moment, every interaction, everything!!!