CWBN // CA: The redux plus all the feels

I wanted to post this on Saturday evening.  My arms ached from holding a fussy baby, my feet were on fire from standing all day, and I was about to pass out from exhaustion, but my heart was full to bursting with joy.  I was dying to type it out.  Alas, there were casseroles to be made for Sunday, so I cooked instead.  Then last night I fell asleep putting the boys to bed and never really made it back to consciousness.  Post I will tonight, however, come waking baby or dirty dishes.  You WILL read about how wonderful this weekend was, because if there is any way you can get yourself some of that community goodness, I highly encourage you to do so.


CWBN // CA Conference 2015

Catholic Women Blogging Network California Conference 2015

The Feels:

A few months ago, a kernel of a nugget of an idea took hold, shaped by a simple question and a simple response:

Q: What are the good blogging conferences to attend?

A: I don’t know, but here’s what *I* would like a conference to be…

And I thought, “We could do that.  If You will help, Lord, we could totally do that.”  So I contacted the most hospitable person I know and asked her to give up her house for a weekend.  Without missing a beat, she said yes.  Then I contacted some of the local-ish movers and shakers in the Catholic blogging world and asked them to help (her, her, and her), and they said yes.  Somehow, word got around and 25 other women from California, Arizona, and Oregon all said YES.  Many of them left behind husbands who said yes, and children, who perhaps through a tear or two gave an emphatic no.  (But they really meant yes.)

It’s quite simple, really.  What happened this past weekend was simply an outpouring of grace from the Holy Spirit, and a group of people saying yes.

I am nothing if not humbled by it all.

The Redux:

But maybe you want more details and less about the state of my heart? Alright fine, you cold-hearted snake.  (Uh oh.)

First of all, let me say that I took 3 whole pictures on Saturday morning, but then Jiza showed up with her mad skills and I retired my camera and sat back to watch the profesh do her thing.  I’ll share some of my Instagram photos, but if you want to see more, check out the #cwbnca hashtag on Instagram.  And if Jiza will consent to it, I’ll share some of her gorgeous photos when they’re ready.

Friday night:

A few of us went to see Little Boy, a movie produced by the husband of a good friend.  (Hey, I live in California.  It’s totally normal to know people in The Biz.  In our homeschool group alone, there are 2.  Not even exaggerating.)


Breakfast: Bagels, coffee, introductions and a rosary.  Preeeeetty much the best way to start a Saturday.

Kendra shared her PicMonkey tricks.  I have to say, I use PicMonkey fairly often and so I wasn’t expecting to learn anything, but Kendra gave us all a few game-changing tips.

Kristin gave us the low-down on podcasting.  I am so interested in this medium, because I really enjoy listening to them.  If only my recorded voice wasn’t the worst.  The absolute worst.  Perhaps if I find someone fun to chat with it would be a fun hobby.

A photo posted by Micaela Darr (@micaela_darr) on

Lunch: sandwiches and salad from Panera.  Delivered and delicious.  We also had a panel discussion on blogging.  We answered questions about privacy, writing on controversial topics, and which platform we preferred, and a few more besides.

I gave a talk on my struggles with pride throughout my blogging days.  It’s something that has been on my heart to share, so I hope to write it out soon.

We paused for a few moments to pray for Nepal after hearing of the earthquake.  (We are all still praying.)

Jenna brought the house down with her social media wizardry.  I think I must have said, “You just rocked my world,” three whole times during her presentation.  Powerhouse, that girl.

And finally Andrea moved us with her reversion story and shared how a single Facebook post brought her back to the Church after 14 years away.  (Andrea also created our totally awesome CWBN website. She has a really wonderful business called Shine Avenue Creative if you’re looking for WP help.)

We capped off the night with dinner at California Pizza Kitchen where we probably confused the heck out of the restaurant by vocally praying over our food one minute and laughing loudly and drinking beers the next.


Many of us brought our families and met for Mass at the San Fernando Mission.  It’s a glorious church with the added bonus of having a fantastic courtyard if your toddler needs to blow off steam during the homily.  Not that any of our kids would need that.  Oh, no.  

A photo posted by Micaela Darr (@micaela_darr) on

Brunch at the Tierneys’ home followed Mass.  Bacon egg casserole, french toast casserole, apple puff pancake, along with regular pancakes made by 9 year old Bobby Tierney.  Dads connected (in manly ways, of course) and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Erica of Be a Heart.

The very final, and possibly most moving, moment came when Jenny Cook shared her conversion story.  She thanked those who had been with her on her journey to Catholicism and encouraged us all.  “You never know who might be reading your blog.”

As we said goodbye and cleaned up, there were many mentions of “next year.”  While none of us can say for certain what tomorrow will look like, much less next year, I think as long as we keep listening to the Holy Spirit and saying yes to Him, we have a good chance of seeing each other again.


  1. Yay! I love this post. 🙂
    I hope you write down your talk and share it here.
    The CWBN Mid-Atlantic Conference is happening this Saturday. I am so excited!
    Erica Saint recently posted…Eyes on the Good ShepherdMy Profile

  2. Post everything. Post all the things. I know this trip just wasn’t a possibility for me, but I’m still sad. But loved seeing the pictures and can’t wait the posts. Even from far away, the ripple effect is great!
    Maia recently posted…jumping ropeMy Profile

  3. This makes me even more sad to have missed it!
    But I am so glad you all had a wonderful time! 🙂 And thank you for saying ‘yes’ to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. What a beautiful thing He is doing in the hearts of so many of us women.
    Laurel recently posted…Tea Time! {Adagio Tea Giveaway}My Profile

  4. It was a truly awesome conference. I am so glad I made the decision to attend. I believe I was the only attendee with a purely secular blog but I came away with ideas on how to have my faith shine through. Thank you everyone for all your hard work. Micaela, you are an amazing woman. Thank you!
    Maria@SewTravelInspired recently posted…A Day of Inspiration and LearningMy Profile

  5. Eilise Ponce says:

    Perfect synopsis! Your talk was the most powerful for me. I’m sure I’ll be reflecting on your advice as I go on this blogging journey. Many thanks!

  6. It was so great meeting you Micaela. You have such a warm, calm & inviting personality. Your kindness & humility were inspiring. Thank you for saying YES!!

  7. Micaela! Thank YOU for this lovely post and for working relentlessly to bring us this great conference… experience, really. You are pretty awesome. End of story. =)

  8. Thank you for sharing the details with us so soon! I’m glad it went well and that it had such an impact on you and the others who attended. (Not to mention the impact that will ripple through to your readers.)

    I hope you experience some peaceful recuperation this week. (And if you think of any small details that I should keep in mind for ours on Saturday, please send them my way!)
    Julie recently posted…Joyful Absurdity: {pretty, happy, funny, real} Vol. 17My Profile

  9. Yay! What a great recap. My post in the weekend is kindof scattered so I thrilled to have a timeline post to link to. The conference was so great! Thanks for everything- the big, the small, everything in between and also for making sure I didn’t starve;)

  10. This is such a great recap. I love your writing and I love your heart. Thank you for sharing, but the biggest thanks EVER for making this all happen. It was incredible and blessed.

  11. Thank you so much for taking the leap of faith to put together a conference for us west coast people. Meeting other crazy Catholic bloggers in person was very meaningful for all of us. You were so warm, welcoming and genuine that you made everyone feel at home.
    Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose recently posted…New house, baby on the way, and no job… uh ohMy Profile

  12. there really aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do all that I want to do after our conference! I am renewed, energized and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for all of us! Great recap friend!
    Karianna recently posted…Real Mom Style: CWBNCA ConferenceMy Profile

    • I KNOW! How will I practice everything Kendra taught us, put into action everything Jenna said, try my hand at podcasting, AND read all of your blogs?! It’s just too much! In a good way, of course.

  13. This sounds so awesome! I am local and couldn’t make it….next year? (or force Edel to come to So Cal next year!)
    (really Sarah Tamiian from Ventura- I write under the pen name Anne Boyd….what should I do about that???)
    priest’s wife @byzcathewife recently posted…what happens to the wife & children when a married Catholic priest dies?My Profile

  14. I am so very grateful to God (and my husband, who took off of his weekend job to be with the kids) that I got to attend. It was a huge blessing and a lot of fun. It was an honor to be able to share my story, and who knows how many more thousands of lives will be touched and how many more seeds will be planted from just the 30 ladies there? If Jesus turned 5 loaves and 2 fish into meals for 5k (plus leftovers!), what will He do with all these blogs? 😉
    Jenny recently posted…Mischief of One Kind and Another…My Profile

  15. Wonderful! Such a great recap. I’m so glad the HS is moving and working in California/the West coast.

  16. Thank you for the great recap, all of your work on the conference, and your kindness! So glad I was there!

  17. Thank you so much for the post, Micaela! So sad I couldn’t make it this year!, but so, so happy for the rest of y’all! May God be glorified in ALL we do.
    Heather recently posted…And a not-so-little child shall lead themMy Profile

  18. This is perfect Micaela! Can’t thank you enough for saying yes!

  19. I am so glad you did this. I am so glad you shared this. I’m so glad the East Coast managed to do it, too…the only thing that could make all this goodness better is if California and Virginia were closer together. I’d so like to be at a conference where I could have lunch with you!
    Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings recently posted…How I almost didn’t attend that Catholic Women’s Blogging conference…and why I’m so glad I did.My Profile


  1. […] had the pleasure of attending the CWBN/CA 2015 conference hosted by Micaela from California to Korea and Kendra from Catholic All Year.  Along with these lovely ladies, speakers included Jenna from […]