Continued from My life, in real life {part one}

It's amazing how much happened in the last year–especially when I think about ten months of 2012 spent living in Germany! I'll continue to write about my experiences there in the coming months, but for now I'm holding it close.  It's like an incredible dream from which I never want to awaken.  The good parts, that is.  Believe it or not, it wasn't all good….

InRL-2013-buttonConsidering I was home only four months, it was my wonderful fortune to be Stateside during the inaugural inRL event; being home enabled me to HOST an event!  My friend Megan co-hosted with me and it made it that much bettah.

This year, inRL is back, and based on world-wide registration, it's already more than doubled in size!  (If you don't know what inRL is, please check out the (in)RL About Page that can explain it much more succinctly than yours truly :).)

The fact that it has grown so large in just its second year is testament to its raison d'être ~ clearly, women are eager for connection with others in their respective back yards.  

I'm hosting an (in)RL gathering again this year (I think Megan is co-hosting again, too–yaaeee!), and if you happen to live in the Tennessee Valley, join us by registering on our Meetup page.  

If you live outside my area, check out the (in)RL Meetup Page to see if there's a gathering in your neck of the woods.  If not, why not be brave and host one?  

Want a few tips for keeping it simple?  Here are a few thoughts from my experience last year–

Robin's Top Five Tips
for Hosting an (in)RL Gathering

1.  Ask someone to co-host.

Initially, I planned only to attend the two events already planned for my area; but one of the hosts had to cancel hers at the last minute.  I contacted the other to see if I could help, and before I knew it, we had moved it from her home to mine. Because we planned together, it minimized my stress and made it a lot more fun!

2.  Invite your attendees to help.

Because I was back and forth between two countries, I knew to pull it off, I needed help!  Rather than feel like I had to bear the expense of providing all the food – let alone preparing it all AND cleaning my house! – I asked everyone to bring their favorite savory appetizer or dessert.

3.  Channel Nester's mantra:  It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Though I wanted my home to be clean and uncluttered for my guests, I surrendered my need for everything to be perfect.  I make a mean apple pie, and while it tastes like heaven come down, it looks a little more, well…grounded than that.  I applied that philosophy to my gathering–it might not look like a Southern Accent party spread, but it was going to feel warm and inviting for our friends.  

4.  Embrace strangers.

Though I knew most of our guests, I didn't know them all.  This year we already have people I don't know asking questions and registering.  It was so nice getting to know new faces, and I'll just shout out one person in particular {{Hi Beckie!!}} who has been such a sweet encourager to me ever since!  

5.  Go with the flow.

I'm going to tell you right now, the amazing minds at (in)courage are going to bring together amazing content for the (in)RL event.  The speakers will bring inspiration, encouragement and then some.  For some attendees, their lives will be changed.

But guess what–last year Megan and I never got to the taped segments!  We spent so much time getting to know one another, our party was two hours PAST THE TIME IT WAS SUPPOSED TO END and we were still just talking!  On one hand I felt like a failure, but on the other?  I realized THAT was our version of (in)RL, and it's what our group needed.

Anyway, for fun I'm including a video below that aired on (in)courage a few weeks ago.  I cringe every time I see myself, but if you listen to this and stick with it to the end, I'll share a FABULOUS idea for a party favor for your event.  I still have mine and I use it frequently!!



Just say YES!  Head over to the (in)RL site, click around until you're comfortable, then sign up to host your own party (and this is WORLD WIDE so geography is NOT an issue!)  I promise it's something you'll never regret.  

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