Several weeks ago, at the beginning of December my mom and I had the amazing opportunity to be apart of the Hearties Family Reunion (a fan event for the TV show When Calls the Heart) in Vancouver, BC. It was a brilliant and wonderful weekend and as I shared on instagram, I marveled at the beauty and the creativity of all of those involved in the show and left inspired in many was that are hard to put into words. The entire weekend was absolutely delightful in meeting so many lovely people, including the cast of When Calls the Hart (#WCTH), producers of the show, Brian Bird, Janette Oke, and so many other sweet #hearties. The trip impacted, inspired, and changed me... in gentle and beautiful ways.
On Friday evening (December 2nd) we gathered for the welcome party. I said this to several people but I truly wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't sure if we were all going to stand around and chat or what the process would be but I was so impressed with the way that the organizers had set up the time. It was truly wonderful.
After registering and receiving some awesome swag bags and goodies we all met in the large conference room where we proceeded to have a wonderful evening.
We heard more details about how the weekend would look, heard precious testimonies of how the show had impacted people personally, and even got to have a sneak peek of the Christmas episode movie.
One of the most fun parts of the reunion was connecting with new friends from around the world! I loved meeting these precious new friends (including some whom I have connected with in the Facebook group) and was delighted to connect with others who had a love for life. We had a blast hanging out and sitting with each other throughout the conference and enjoyed getting to know these ladies more at dinner one of the evenings.
Another special part of the weekend was having the opportunity to meet and talk with Brian Bird, one of the executive producers of the show.
I have long admired his work and his efforts to bring family-friendly plots and story lines to television and it was an honor to chat with him and get to know him a little bit throughout the weekend. He was incredibly gracious and truly spent an unbelievable amount of time with all of the attendees to the weekend. I was blown away by his compassion, his work ethic, and his ability to make each attendee feel so special. He is truly changing the course of television. He has had a profound impact on my life and it was such an incredible honor to meet him.
Another person that it was an incredible honor to meet was author Janette Oke.
As a beginning author and a woman who wants to encourage others through her writing it was such an incredible honor to have the opportunity to chat with Janette. She was so incredibly gracious and had words of encouragement for me as a writer which I truly have treasured. On a very personal note it was also incredibly amazing to meet Janette as my new book that releases in February (From Hope Valley) was inspired by the TV Show When Calls the Heart which in turn was inspired by Janette Oke's books!
I have always found Janette's books to provide a sweet and yet profound message of truth in them and to meet her was such an amazing thing that I will definitely treasure forever. As an author you always have your favorite authors that you admire and look up to and Janette Oke is definitely one of those for me!
And of course for me the most special part of the entire experience was sharing it with my mom. We had such an amazing time with memories that will last for a life-time. It was such a wonderful opportunity and a dream come true.
A huge thank you to everyone that made this trip possible and to everyone who was apart of this! I can't wait to share with y'all in the next couple of weeks more of the Hearties Family Reunion (#HFR2) including the opportunity to meet the cast and crew (which you can read about HERE) and the visit to Hope Valley (the set of When Calls the Heart)!
Happy Tuesday friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week!