Originally I’d planned to attend BlissDom and stay with my cousin, Laura, who lives in Nashville. We’re very close – almost like sisters – and there would be no hotel expenses. Unfortunately Laura, a make-up artist, is working in California now. At this point my trip was a maybe, depending on finding a roommate. What’s a girl to do? Ask on Twitter. Lisa B. and I met at She Speaks last year; we’re conducting a tech Q & A together at this year’s conference. She agreed to room with me. (Thanks again, Lisa!)
My husband worked from home Friday. I said goodbye to him and the kids and started the drive for Nashville. The vision in my right eye was blurry, so I assumed I had something in it. Stopping at a Kroger for gas, I took my saline inside to clean my contact. Imagine my surprise when I realized that there was NO CONTACT in my eye! Apparently I dropped it when putting it in; I’m nearsighted, so I didn’t notice it was gone while in my house. At this point I was about forty minutes from home. My husband headed toward me and I doubled back. We met in a newer subdivision next to a small cemetery (my Day 31 picture for Project 365). At least I was able to pick up some groceries for my family while in Kroger, so we made a contact/grocery exchange.
Later, I was psyched when crossing into the Central Time Zone, gaining an hour, almost as much as was lost with the contact fiasco. I pulled over at the Tennessee Welcome Center for a pitstop, and would you believe I locked my keys in the car? We have roadside assistance on our phones so getting it unlocked was free. At this point I was starting to feel like a human train wreck; even the guy coming to unlock my car got pulled over by the police on the way to help me.
Arriving at the hotel in the middle of the first session, I checked in; dropped my luggage in the room; and headed for the lobby. Only ten minutes remained and I didn’t want to cause a distraction, so decided to wait outside the ballroom. Of all the sweet blessings, that was where the nursing mommies were, too. The first people I saw were Stephanie and baby Ivy from Adventures in Babywearing. Stephanie was one of the people I was most looking forward to meeting at BlissDom. She talked to me about sponsorship ideas for my trip to Photoshop World in September; mostly she inspired me to dream that it was possible.
Other weekend highlights include:
Robin and I initially connected via some silly blog quiz that said George Clooney was both of our celebrity soul mate. Fighting over the right to Clooney wasn’t able to crush our friendship, and we’ve been pals ever since. Robin and I first met at She Speaks last summer.
I would love to tell you what Lisa, Melanie, and I are doing in this picture, but I’m not completely sure. Quite possibly we’re channeling Vanna White. I was thrilled to death to meet Melanie; it felt like we were old friends.
On the left with the cute and sassy do is Amanda. Amanda and I met at the Saturn/BlogHer meet-up in Atlanta in the fall. In her lap is cute little Asa. There were lots of babies at BlissDom!
Here are a group of us in the lobby Saturday night.
Back row: Melanie, me, Chris Mann (our entertainer of the evening), Shannon, Sandy, another lady that I didn’t meet (please tell me her name, if you know!)
Front row: Robin and Amber (I hate that I just met Amber at the last minute Saturday night. It turns out she lives close to where I grew up; her husband and I even attended the same high school!)
Although I don’t have a picture, I was so excited to meet Mishelle! We just discovered each other from my BlissDom/The Motherhood jewelry contest. It turns out we not only have similar interests – photography, homeschooling – but are practically neighbors. We’re looking forward to future play dates and double dates; Mishelle just joined us as one of the newest authors on The Homeschool Post!
Other 2008 She Speaks conference attendees were Alyssa, Jo-Lynne, Sarah, and Annie. I’ve loved getting to know these ladies better via Twitter. I also met Jen, a sweet and beautiful lady who (I think) will be at She Speaks this summer.
One of the nicest things about this conference was seeing how real and approachable the “big name” attendees were. I spent time with Kelby Carr, Liz Strauss, and Barbara Jones, all of whom took time to talk to me and answer my questions. Jessica Smith, Amy Lupold Bair, and Allison Worthington were also very personable. These ladies are all super talented, but what makes them special is that their goals are to inform and connect us, and that is what I saw in them.
BlissDom ’09 was a wonderful experience and I plan to attend future ones (please keep it in Nashville!). My only regret is all the ladies I didn’t have the chance to meet.
Conference Sponsors (who did a fabulous job, I might add)
Here’s a gratuitous Elvis picture. After all, I was in Tennessee.