July 29, 2013

#BlogHer13 Blog Conference Recap

Well, I'm back from BlogHer 2013 and I can't believe it's come and gone. Flying home from Chicago I felt like, did this weekend even happen? Was it real?

It was real. It was overwhelmingly, exhaustingly, emotionally and amazingly real. I feel refreshed for lack of a better word. Certainly not physically refreshed (on that point I am beyond exhausted) but refreshed when it comes to blogging. I feel like my purpose is renewed. BlogHer 2013, for all of its total insanity, was a complete breath of fresh air.

I've got some great take aways to share with y'all both on the blogging and personal front. Soon. You know after I go to the grocery store, dig out from underneath the laundry and sleep for about eighteen hours straight.

For now a few of the highlights:

1) Meeting some amazing women who previously lived only in my computer, but now live in my heart and arms.




 MELISSA * ERIN * JAMIE

 2) My faith in humanity was restored.
Shortly after arriving at O'Hare Erin and I decided that we would be savvy smart girls and take the train into the city to save on the $25.00 cab fare. We located a likely looking older gentleman and he helped up select the correct train and stop. After a twenty minute ride we successfully departed the train at the correct stop. Approximately twenty seconds after the train doors shut I looked at Erin and said, "I don't think my phone is any of my bags." My phone was totally on that train. We quickly turned on the Find My iPhone app while I muttered over and over, "my husband is going to kill me!". We marked the phone as lost which ensures that no one can open it and the only message that will be displayed is, "This iPhone is lost. If found please call XXX-XXX-XXX". Later at lunch Erin's phone lit up with my name on the display. Some kind stranger not only found my phone but delivered it to me at the Sheraton. I wish I knew his name or some way to get in touch with him to say thank-you.

3) I found my self-confidence.
It was hard to leave the comfort of having my roommate Erin at my side. I did it though. I talked to people I didn't know. I struck up conversations with people not knowing if they were like the "it" blogger or a newbie like me. I walked up to the ASPCA booth in the expo hall and said, "I'm so glad you are here. I really want to work with you!" and let my enthusiasm carry us through a great connection and conversation. Although there were times I wanted to hide in a corner and become invisible I forced myself to keep smiling and putting myself out there and I surprised myself by having fun doing it.

4) I met Optimus Prime, and I left him with the message, "Autobots roll out!". I'm also a nerd. 


5) Then there was that one time I was interviewed by CNN. 
 And Kelly Wallace used my interview in her article. I wasn't nervous at all when they interviewed me. It never crossed my mind that I'd actually be quoted, so why be nervous? She did use it though and I cried big fat happy tears when I read the article because it was exactly what I meant when I said it. 

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July 19, 2013

#BlogHer13 Monthly Link Up - July

In the midst of the crazy OMG!-Squee!-It's almost here!-Oh crap I'm leaving my husband and daughter behind for four whole days!-We've got less than a week until BlogHer '13! - insanity I'm taking a minute to link up with Jayne and Nicole for their monthly BlogHer '13 questionnaire.
 
1. What session are you most excited to attend?

It's hard to say. I am really excited for the more technical sessions on things like marketing, but I am also pumped for a few of the room of your own sessions, particularly the one dealing with social media.
 

2. What BlogHer party are you most excited to attend?

I'm pretty pumped for the FLY DIY party. Some of my favorite bloggers are working on this party!
 

3. Are you attending any private parties?

More than a few. I'm pretty excited about those too!


4. Will you be attending the Expo Hall?
 
Yes! I've got my route planned all out!
 

 5. Any last minute tasks you need to finish before we leave for the conference?
 
Oh my goodness yes. I've got all my shopping done, but I need to get my outfits organized, figure out what bags to bring, wash about a gazillion loads of clothes, wash diapers, get a mani/pedi, get my eyebrows waxed, print out all my information and get it all organized. Yeah. I've got lots of little things left to do!
 
 
See you there!



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July 16, 2013

Preparing for BlogHer '13: Self Confidence

It feels like it was eons ago that I made the firm decision that I would be attending BlogHer '13 and now it's here.
 
Some of my fears have come true. Although, I did manage to hook up with the best roomie EVER, Erin, the party invites have not been hugely forthcoming. But, I AM OK WITH THAT. I have to be OK with that. I was talking to my Daddy about this over the weekend. I was expressing how I'm nervous because there's going to be SO.MANY.PEOPLE there and what if no one likes me and I really didn't get invited to that many parties and he just basically said to chill out; there will be hundreds of other women (and maybe a few men) in the exact same position as me.
 
That's when I realized it's time to take the pressure off of myself. Yes, I want to meet my blogging friends in real life. I want to squeeze Melissa, and Erin so tight and I can't wait to meet some fabulous people like Nicole and Jayne, and I'd love to walk away with some kick butt P/R connections, but I also realized that I can't be what I'm not. I have to let go of my fear of people rejecting me, of cliques and realize if people don't want to talk to me, if they've already got their circle of friends that it's not about me. It's about them and I'll find some equally as awesome folks to hang out with. In short, it's
 
 
I can only control what I can control. I can only control my circus and my monkeys. I can only put the best of me forward and know that the best of me is pretty damn awesome. Realizing that has allowed me to let go and really get excited about this conference. It's going to be so much fun. I'm going to spend four days walking with my people and not being snickered at when I feel the need to tweet, instagram or facebook all the things. I'm going to learn and reevaluate and probably cry. I am going to smile until my face hurts.

See you there fellow BlogHer '13-ers!

PS: If you see me at the conference come say hi! I promise I am super nice, I don't bite and I love to make new friends. If you are feeling a little like I was, leave me a comment with your phone number and I'll message you mine. Maybe we can hook up and hang out!

This week and next I'll be posting a lot about getting ready for the conference, articles I've read and what I'm packing!
.
 
 
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July 15, 2013

Land That I Love

This year, as always, we spent the 4th of July holiday on Pickwick Lake. It's always so much fun despite the crazy boat traffic and drunk weirdos. This year was a year of firsts. Evie took her first ride on her pull behind that Grammie and Grampie bought her for her birthday, she had her first popsicle on the boat and we took Evie to see the fireworks for the first time. I was a little worried because recently she started freaking out over thunder. She really loved them though! She clapped and said, "Yay! Fireworks!". When it was all over repeatedly said, "Bye-bye, fireworks!".
 
It was also the first time we took the boat out on the lake to watch the fireworks. They are launched off a huge barge and hundreds of boats go out to see them. Driving out wasn't too bad since we got out there early, but driving back in was a nightmare. I was freaking out and ready to kill someone (anxiety level=through the roof), but we made it back in and after putting Evie to bed (way late) and a glass of red wine I was ready for bed!
 
The next day we got up, had a big breakfast and said good-bye to GiGi and Grampa Gene. It was the perfect end to the holiday and the perfect end to their visit! I can't believe that our next big lake holiday is Labor Day and the unofficial beginning of Fall!
 
{Don't worry, she's sitting on her Daddy's lap!}
 

{Nothing says Summer like sticky popsicle dripping down your elbow!}
 

{My mom and dad on their big boat!}
 

{Saying wheeee while riding the "water hills" with Grampie!}
 

{New favorite: riding in the cart down the dock!}
 
 
{View from the lake into the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway}
 
 
I hope all of my American friends had an amazing 4th of July holiday! Did you do anything fun? Leave me a link so I can see!
 
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July 12, 2013

Babies Babies Everywhere

But not a one in my belly.
 
It seems like everyone I know is pregnant.
 
There is a group of girls I know from various parts of my life and we all had babies within six months of each other. I call them my "graduating class", and I swear every last stinking one of them is knocked up. It's like a code: as soon as your baby turns two it's time to have another one!
 
Y'all I want another baby. Like really want one. Right now. Everyone is pregnant; everyone is popping them out, and while I am mostly happy for them, I feel a little bit sad and a little bit jealous that it's not me, that it's not my time yet. We have a plan (you know as much as one can plan these things), and while I won't go into the detail or the reasons, it's a good plan. It's a solid plan backed by sound logic. 
 
Sigh.
 
I know the time will come, and I'll be cursing the pregnancy gods for the horendous morning sickness, wondering what the hell I was thinking when I said, "Let's have a baby!" and struggling to keep my eyes open at seven o clock at night. Until then all I can think about is the way Evie smelled when she was fresh from the oven, and how she was tiny and beautiful and God I want a sleeping baby on my chest.
 
It's hard this patience thing. It feels like being in a big white waiting room, feeling so anxious and excited for what is on the other side of the door even though you know it will rock your world down to the marrow of your bones, even though you know that it will be scary because you might have to fight the big fight again. Still you're hopping on the balls of your feet and watching the second hand on the clock because while it might be scary and the great unknown it's also all kinds of wonderful.
 
 
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