Life has gotten away from me once again dear friends. It's been over 2 weeks since I've been back from Blissdom and I'm just now getting a chance to post my recap!
This was my first time attending Blissdom. I was anxious about going because I had heard that the attendance at Blissdom wasn't very diverse and I wasn't sure how I would fit in or how comfortable I would feel. I also was going to be flying solo since Ny and Jonesie weren't coming along. That said, I really wanted to go, not only to hang out with and meet new blogging buddies, but also to support Barbara Jones who has been a supporter of Blogalicious since the beginning. Also, Blogalicious was going to be a sponsor of the Blissful + Bubbles party hosted by The Clever Girls, and I wanted to be there for the event. And so, I went. And my trip didn't disappoint!
Everything was well done. The hotel was spectacular; the agenda had just the right mix of educational and topical discussions; the parties were fun; and the vibe was warm.
For me, the highlights of the weekend were:
- The Opening Keynote by Kevin Carroll of Katalyst. He was phenomenal. Why haven't I heard of this guy before?
- The "Striking a Balance" panel. It's not often that you sit in on a breakout session that touches you and resonates on such a personal level. All of the ladies on the panel were awesome, but I have to say that this was the moment when I knew I had to meet Carmen of Mom to the Screaming Masses in person.
- And I did. Which leads me to another highlight: watching hilarious YouTube videos with Carmen and Shannon of MomReinvented. Love those gals!
- Lunch with Isabel Kallman of Alpha Mom, Kim Moldofsky of Mom Impact; and Jennifer James of Mom Bloggers Club. As if I wasn't already impressed with Isabel and all that's she's done, at lunch I learned that on top of everything, she used to be an SVP and Solomon Smith Barney AND a dancer in Salt n' Pepa videos!! Loves it.
- The Final Showdown of the U.S. Potato Board's Tastemaker Challenge. OMG this was so much fun. A mashed potato bar; potato vodka; cheering on some of my fave bloggers including ModernMami; an impromptu cheerleading routine from Jessica Knows; WHOOMP! There It Is blasting over the speakers - I'm telling you, it was a ball.
- And last, but not least, my absolute most favorite moment of Blissdom was girls night out with Carrie of Bilingual in the Boonies; Modern Mami; Yoly of Cuponeando; Jennifer James; and Lizzie of LizzieB TV. These girls are the definition of "good peoples." We laughed, shared, laughed, dished, laughed, drank and dined. Then Carrie took us on a personal tour of downtown Nashville. What a fun evening.
The Closing Session of the conference was moving as well. MckMama recounted her experience of almost losing her son and how her blogging community helped get her through those difficult times. Top that off with a video montage of attendees giving their well wishes to Anissa Mayhew who is recovering (and finally home!) and it was no wonder that boxes of tissues were on each table.
All in all, it was a good trip. The level of diversity was still pretty sad, but I was expecting that so it didn't really bother me. Things got a little stressful towards the end because Snowmageddon hit the D.C. area and I learned that I would not be flying home as scheduled. But all's well that ends well and I got to hang out with Amy from Resourceful Mommy, Cecily from Uppercase Woman, and Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife. Eventually, I made it home safe and sound, with a weekend of new and strengthened relationships in my pocket.