And everything looked perfect from far away. "Come down now," they'll say.

As I sit down to type this, I feel little tears forming in the corners of my eyes. Sometimes when Life is moving so quickly that you're not able to catch up with her, it can be overwhelming. I think it's a good overwhelmed. We came, we saw, and we conquered. I can truly say this was one of the most hilarious, laid back, and empowering trips I've ever taken in my life.

A BIG thanks to Heather Schrimsher for making this delicious dress for me in only 24 hours, and to both her and Laura Pearce for making my birthday (which was a couple days before Market and swept under the rug) VERY special! I got the best presents a girl could ask for- a dress, a HUGE cake, cupcakes too, roses from my hubbers, and a sweet homemade card from Laura's son, my little Cammie! And to GINA PINA who made me the sweetest Melody Miller bag- you can buy one of her bags HERE if you like it!

After work on Wednesday, Gina Pina picked up Mike and me in her sister's car. What intrigued me about it was the fact that the license plate read "RADIOO". (Sorry to Gina's sister if she didn't want me shouting her out, but that is too cool of a plate not to share.) I pretty much knew in that very instant that this would be a great trip.

I don't know if you've ever driven 12 hours before for a road trip. In one sitting, that is. It is quite an extraordinary task. Fun fact about Jessica Sloan: I like being a passenger. Luckily there were three of us to take turns driving. Gina ended up driving most of the way to Kansas City. I thought she was absolutely insane, but she swears it was the gas station coffee she drank on the way out of Texas.

I have a tendency to pick up souvenirs every time I go to a new state. It drives my husband insane. Which probably makes me do it more. I missed my opportunity on the way there because I slept the majority of the way. I remember waking up a few times, hissing at everyone and going back to sleep.

When we awoke on Thursday, it was time to find some grub and get over to the Convention Center. We knew we were all tired of gas station food, so we drove around Kansas City a while until we found a sweet little bistro called Gennessee's. It's located on Gennessee Road, naturally. It is the coolest little place, aesthetically. I think it was only open for breakfast and brunch, if I remember correctly. They have roll top doors in the front, so I wonder if it was an old mechanic shop converted into a bar and bistro. I might have had a love affair with the decor.

 This was how they displayed their silverware. So simple, but very stylized. It was an aesthetic pleasure. Even Gina's breakfast, below, looked beautiful.

So after brekkie, it was onward to the Convention Center. We parked fairly close and got a great view of some beautiful fountains and some beautiful sculptures in the downtown area. The booth was mostly put together when we arrived (thanks Mom), all that was left was some serious merchandising for our fabric bundles. I wanted to get the booth thrown up as quickly as possible so that I had time to lurk on the designer's finished booths before the show actually started. You know, some of the perks of working your butt off. Thankfully we always have simple booths with very little assembly required. Also, having two extra people there this year made the workload greatly diminished. So we lurked hard. I got a couple sneak peeks to show you here. While I was doing my stalker thing, we ran into Anna Maria setting up her beautiful booth. It was nice catching up with her, and I got an opportunity to tell her how much we support her needlearts endeavors! Her needlepoint kits are incredible and I hope to stock them soon. What a visionary she is.
 This is a sneak peek at the infamous panther from Anna Maria's booth. How innovative is this? Definitely know how I'm using up MY old scraps.

Everyone else was gone for the day, so we thought we would try our luck and see if we could weasel into Sample Spree. Sample Spree is a mini-show that the Convention puts on the nite before the actual Market starts. It's usually only a couple of hours, space is limited and so is the quantity of goods.

Unfortunately, since we didn't sign up initially, we had to wait an hour until ladies started clearing out. I was terrified nothing would be left. So we went sightseeing. In the car we went. We walked downtown till we decided that our little legs need to save their energy. Into Chipotle. Margarita, into my mouth. Yum. Chomp chomp here, chomp chomp there, and it's time to go back and press our luck at sample spree. Looks like we're IN!

Now I've never known older ladies to be particularly violent, unless they're quilters. NO JOKE. Ladies were throwing elbows to get pre-cuts before anybody else! I was in shock and awe all at the same time. Like a flock of wild locusts, the Moda table was gone before we could even get there. I was furious! I yelled at the rep. Can't I just get a freaking TOTE BAG?! He looked completely apathetic as he handed me my hard-earned Moda tote.

I was not to be discouraged, however. I spent my sample spree hour feverishly grabbing at anything cool I could get my hands on. I'm teasing you here. I love it.

And as fast as it came, Day 1 was spent. We left the auditorium alone; the rush of the crowds was gone. But the rush thru our bodies was still going. What a high! We came. We saw. We bought. We conquered!

Tomorrow I will tell you all the good stuff from Day 2 and also explain how you can get a chance to WIN WIN WIN my awesome sample spree goodies.