I am a fifth year veteran to Blissdom. I have pretty much been there from the beginning (except for the first small gathering). If forced to chose favorites, I would have to say it is my favorite conference. And even though I am a veteran I still learn a lot every year. Not always in the sessions either. Here are five things I learned at Blissdom 2013.
- After five years there are just some people who make Blissdom Blissdom. And many of them weren’t there this year. And it was super weird. So Robin, JoLynne, Jenny and Emily, Ari, Melanie, Emily, Rachel, Lisa and all the missing Sisterchicks (my band of bloggy BFFs- Amanda, Mandi, Staci, Becky Jessie and Christine) YOU WERE MISSED. I hate making lists like this because inevitably I left someone out. So whoever I forgot, you were missed too (I’m pretty sure that makes no sense).
- That being said Blissdom was almost 50% newbies this year. Which allowed me to connect with some awesome people I had either never met before or just met on the internet. Highlights include meeting Allison (who ran a marathon early this morning while pregnant- WHAT??), Abby Leigh, Laura, Nicole, Connie and Dana. Again I am sure I left out people (why am I doing this to myself?), but I really loved meeting so many new people. And of course rooming with Mary and getting so much great time with Jen was the ultimate highlight. Friends who live in your computer can in fact become your closest friends on the planet.
- Jon Acuff and Scott Stratten should speak at Blissdom every year in some form or fashion. Actually Jon Acuff pretty much said he would be hiding in the parking lot next year with a fake mustache. Which isn’t creepy at all……. I apparently was the only person on the planet who didn’t know who Susan Cain was, but she really gave me some incredible parenting nuggets and I seriously think I need to buy her book Quiet. So the keynotes killed it and I will be chewing on their nuggets for awhile.
- I need to buy a lottery ticket. I won a $100 gift card to Famous Footwear (SHOES!!!), a $50 Donors.org gift card from Strong Moms Empower and a set of room darkening curtains for our bedroom from Sound Asleep. Our current curtains are cheapo from Target and are so sun faded it is borderline embarrassing so major score. I also was quite popular with the kiddos today when I brought home a lot of Go-Go Squeeze and with the hubby for bringing home lots of Seattle’s Best Coffee. Plus I got a killer set of fake eyelashes at the Bissell Booth (Grand Rapids companies FTW!!) and a pretty mint mani from the National Sleep Foundation. I was also thrilled that Shot at Life and Child Hunger Ends Here, both of whom I am currently so proud to be working with, had a strong presence letting attendees know about the important work they are doing. Such a great lineup of sponsors and we were treated gooooood.
- I don’t travel much with this blog. There are times I wish I had more opportunities to if I am being completely honest. But then when I am gone for too long I remember why it is okay I don’t. These little people I leave behind are my world. And the fact that I have a husband who, from day one, has been this blog’s biggest cheerleader is the biggest blessing. I really want to commit as a family to being unplugged more. Hold me to it will you? (yes, even you mom and dad)
I am so very grateful to the Blissdom team for choosing me to be a community leader this year. To the conference sponsors for keeping costs down. And most importantly to my fabulous sponsor Land’s End. I can’t wait to show you all the outfits I wore!!