I spent a huge part of last week at the Jamberry International Conference at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. I went with my sister-in-law, a handful of gals from our immediate team, and 5000 of my closest Jam Friends. Here’s what I’m taking from the experience!
- The Gaylord Texan is ENORMOUS. It’s quite possibly the size of my hometown when I was a kid. There was a RIVERWALK. With a “real” river. (Ahem – man-made.) The picture below? It doesn’t even show the gargantuan glass atrium, complete with bell tower, the water park, or a huge portion of the convention center. You can work off your margarita(s) just by trying to find your room. And that water park? You have to take a SHUTTLE to get to it because the property is so big.
wA good lazy river is better than therapy. We showed up after an insanely early flight out of Chicago (hat tip: United Airlines!). I was coming off of a few manic days with my kiddos, who were beyond excited that their grandparents were watching them while I was gone and my husband was at work. Candy-store levels of excitement. Which means I was certifiable levels of crazy.
But that lazy river… We stopped for lunch (nachos – see below) and immediately made our way over there. Via hotel shuttle, because TEXAS!! After hanging on the inner tube for a few trips around, I became a normal person again. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my little babies to the moon and back. And I was expecting to feel guilt-beyond-measure about being away. The lazy river solved that one. (Until my sis saw a couple of cute redheads that reminded her of her boys she left home, at which point we jumped back in the tubes and did our water therapy a little longer.
Pro Tip: If you go, there are some MAJOR jets and waterfalls going on at this attraction. So keep your wits about you. You’ve been warned.
- You can in fact laugh until your core muscles refuse to hold your body upright. Hot Jam – you can take the girls to a professional event, but you can’t make them act like grown-ups.
- Our CEO is a pretty awesome person to be leading a company filled with moms. Most people familiar with Jamberry know that it was founded by three sisters who wanted an at-home option for no-chip manicures. Some people even know that the husband of one of the sisters, Adam Hepworth, is our CEO. I had heard him speak several times via leader calls and YouTube videos on our dashboard, so I knew he came across as a very likeable and approachable person. He and his wife have a newborn little boy, who made the trip from Utah to Dallas with them for conference.
At one of the meetings on leadership, he was scheduled to give our presentation. But… his wife was exhausted and occupied and the baby was asleep in his stroller. So he did what any dad would do: He walked that kid back and forth in the stroller to keep him from waking up. You know the drill. Except he did it while addressing the leaders of the organization, many of whom happen to be moms.
Check it out:
- NACHOS. Seriously. If you ever go to the Gaylord, go to the Riverwalk Cantina and get the Nachos. Wear your eating pants. You can easily feed a couple of people with this plate of happiness. Which is good, since the plate of happiness is kind of spendy.
- Five-thousand women in one room learning about new products? The loudest experience of my life.
“GEL POLISH!” **SQUEE**
“NEW LACQUER COLORS” **WOOOOOOOT**
“CATALOG REVEAL” **YOU CAN HAVE MY FIRST BORN**
- My team of girls is inspiring, hilarious, and down-to-earth. I just wish my sis was in the picture – but she was busy being recognized at the EXECUTIVE dinner. Holla!
- A 35th birthday should be spent dancing with your girlfriends.
- Or standing in line to ride a bull (I cannot express how thankful I am that the line was too long for it to actually happen.) Also – Peacock Jams!
- Liquor licenses in Texas are either extremely lax or super easy to skirt around.
Mostly, I learned that I can give over control to my hubs and everything will be perfect. It reaffirmed that my sister-in-law is my best friend and I’m so happy to be doing this with her. I learned that total strangers can become some really amazing friends. And that a CEO will push a sleeping baby back-and-forth in a stroller while giving an important presentation. Because Hell hath no fury like an awakened baby.