Remember how I went to that conference a few weeks ago? BlogHer? Yeah, me neither. Somehow I still haven’t had time to reflect and really gather my thoughts, but I figured I’d share a few highlights for those (2) of you who might be interested. As I go through my stacks of business cards (yes, bloggers have business cards…even me), marketing materials (and potato chip samples) and notes (I think I took some), I will definitely highlight more.
Honestly, the best part of the conference for me was the personal connections. I saw old friends, met virtual ones and realized that blogging—or what I like to think of as storytelling—has become a huge part of who I am. And the fact that people actually read, relate and share my stories? That’s a dream come true. And it turns out I’m not alone…there are thousands of others with the same dream (and a hankering for free booze). And being inspired by these women was what the conference was all about for me (well, that and the free booze).
So here were the people and moments that stuck with me the most (in no particular order):
The Right Hand Mom was my right hand gal—we had a great time hanging out and navigating the social scene together. She doesn’t even know this, but last year after BlogHer, I was talking to my friend (who happened to be my boss at the time) about the people we saw. I said that I felt like I’d be friends with Cristie if I knew her in “real life”. Well, over the past year, I’ve gotten to know her from afar—through her writing, Facebook updates and notes—and my suspicions have been confirmed. She’s wonderful (and she writes Minivan Mix posts, what’s not to love?)!
The rest of the Yahoo! Mother Board didn’t disappoint either. It was so much fun reconnecting with the women who (unknowingly) inspired me to start my own blog. They welcomed me with hugs, party invitations and words of encouragement.
Ok, you know those super cool people who seem totally intimidating because they have more pairs of fun shoes than you have diapers in your purse? Jessica from Sassafrass (my lovely Shine Guru editor and former colleague) is definitely one of them, and she was willing to slum it with me in my Old Navy dress for a bit. She’s as sassy and savvy as they come and keeps great company. She introduced me to Charlene from CrazedParent, who, it turns out, is my neighbor!
Remember that fun Circle of Moms contest? Well, I didn’t just get a (#1, if you keep track, which I don’t) spot on their site, I made a new friend. Midlife Mixtape (who I now know as Nancy) was the first person I saw at BlogHer. She was warm, witty and very fun to be around. Which explains how she had gathered all kinds of fascinating people at one table for the opening keynote. She was also one of the last people I saw as we had parting cocktails with Jenn from Circle of Moms.
Last year at BlogHer, my lowlight was accidentally (I swear!) blowing past Whitney from Rookie Moms. But it quickly became a highlight when I got to meet her (while apologizing, of course) and her partner, Heather, and form a friendship with the ladies I’ve long admired. This year I joined them, along with an intimate group of other really interesting bloggers/business owners (like Abbie and Sam, the founders of The Mother Company), for loads of gourmet pizza. Bliss.
So, now that you know I’m star struck by bloggers, you won’t be surprised that the Zebra Partners/Blogging Angels breakfast was a total highlight. The people at my table had more Twitter followers combined than there are pre-teen girls at a Justin Bieber concert. And there’s a reason. These women are as talented as they are loved (and funny…like Amy). Plus it was all about branding (and happened to include some really, really cool brands…more to come!), so it made me feel smart.
I also had a total Modern Family moment. As you can imagine, my goal in life is to be in a Flash Mob. Now that they’re everywhere, it doesn’t seem like that should be too much to ask. But I’m afraid I was just an enthusiastic onlooker during Operation Glory (apparently being the cute pregnant girl at my last blogging conference wasn’t enough to get me on MamaMary’s list).
I had the oddest chance meeting there too. I was having a fun chat with a woman who was friends with some of my friends and she stepped away to answer a call. I overheard her talking to her mom and quickly learned that her dad has the same kind of brain cancer as mine. While I never like to hear that someone is going through what my family is, it was comforting to know that someone understood the feeling of being there—doing your very best to live in the moment, but not being able to be totally present.
Oh, and I quite literally bumped in to Wendi McLendon-Covey from Bridesmaids. Sometimes it pays to be an unfocused klutz (who happens to blog).