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It wasn't what I had hoped for, it was more. #blogher14

August 1, 2014

 

 

It's taken me so many days to post my recap for several reasons.  First being, I didn't even know where to start.  I have so many pictures, so many memories, so many thoughts, I was feeling overwhelmed on how to make this blog post worthy of BlogHer14.  Second, coming home after being gone for 7 days, is a bitch.  Like the amount of laundry that awaits me (I still haven't unpacked) is making me want to cry.  Plus, just trying to find a routine again, and getting the kid adjusted back to normal life that doesn't involve the spoiling from all the grandparents...

 

These are all real life issues and all reasons to wait 6 days to write a post.  I decided to just jump in and start, awesome post or not, here is what I have for y'all.

 Part 1 San Fran

Tuesday, after work, I flew to LAX and then to San Jose.  I almost missed my plane to San Jose because LAX is the most insane place I've ever seen in my 31 years of life.  They flew us into this random terminal that wasn't at all connected to the airport and then bused us over to a different terminal that again, wasn't connected to the airport.  I was the only female on a bus of 5 men.  At 11p.m. In L.A. It was so the opposite of awesome.

Any-who, I made it to the plane, even having time to pee before hand.  I sat down and met a really nice lady who loved talking just as much as I did.  I over-shared my life story on our 55 minute flight and gained a free ride to my hotel.  She was so fantastic.  She was flying with her 2 daughters and they were just as great. When her husband, son and dog showed up to pick them up, she said, "c'mon, we're going to take you to your hotel."  I wish I had taken a car selfie with them but I had that awful 'I've been on an airplane for 378 hours' feel and look to me.  Plus, I was slightly exhausted and just didn't think about it.  But for the record, they were an awesome family that I'll never forget.

 

Fast forward to the next day, after I slept for a reasonable amount of time, showered and ate.  I was feeling very adventurous and since I still had another day and a half before BlogHer started, I took a train to San Francisco. 

 

Look at me being all awesome on the train. I won't lie, I didn't know what the hell I was going to do when I got there but I didn't care.


 

When I got off the train, I grabbed a cab and said, "take me somewhere awesome."  He looked at me funny and took me to the piers.  About 5 minutes into my taxi ride, I get a text from THIS GUY asking me if I was really in San Fran because he was too!

 

 

Mike is a good friend from home and he was in town on business.  We of course had to take a picture because, duh, how often do you travel to another state just to run into someone from home?  Such a fun surprise to see him!

 

 

After, I took some time to walk around.  I found the sea lions and duh, took a selfie. Because that's what you do.

 

 

 

It had to be the most windy place on the planet!


 

 

Also, I found barrels of saltwater taffy! 
 

Overall, San Francisco was very good to me.  I had some great food, found a wine bar and had alone time where I reflected on how truly happy I was.  It was a pretty moving moment for me.  I felt peace and contentment. 

I held onto that moment until my taxi ride back.  I used the same guy as before.  He seemed legit and fairly normal.  Plus he was willing to show me around a bit. Y'all. I almost died.  Like, I don't even have a selfie of me in the Cab of Death because I was that terrified and near the stage of vomit.  He was by far the worst cab driver that ever lived.  Plus.  He kept looking back at me saying my eyes were "like maGIC".  At first, I'm like, "awww thanks so much".  By the 11th hundred time of almost rear-ending another car, I was a lot less nice and a lot more ill. "Please stop looking at my eyes sir." ::closes eye lids for the remainder of the trip::

 

I have never been more happy to be alive. That concludes the end of my San Francisco  story.


 

Part 2: BlogHer

So Thursday was the start of the conference.  Well, kinda.  If you prepaid for what they call "Pathfinder Day" then it was the start.  If you were a newbie like me, you didn't know to do that so you missed out on all that. 

 

I did, however, get to register and it all became pretty real when I got my badge.

 

 

Thursday night was, "Evening at the Expo" where they had so many different brands and companies there looking for bloggers to advertise all the things.  I basically walked around by myself, just taking it all in.  Of course each exhibit wanted you to take a selfie with their stuff and tweet it.  I'm sorry to those who follow me on twitter.  That must have been an annoying night for you. I have a ton of selfies from this night but really, now that it's over, how many times can you really want to see my face?

And I know a lot of you saw the post where I took a selfie with AngelSoft's hashtag SheetHappens.  They were asking for great bathroom stories and so clearly, I had to tell them about the time Kaleb feel into the toilet.  They thought it was a great story and mentioned something about us getting a year supply of TP.  How can you beat that?  I'll never have to go shopping again.

 

 

 

 

And then there was the time that there was a table full of chips and dips. A true fat girls dream.

 

This is where things will start to get mushy. Before I left for my trip, you all know I was asking for prayers because I was afraid of coming off like a bitch.  Because I do that from time to time.  What I was also praying for was the chance to meet some great people.  The *right* people, if you will. I wanted to meet women that most importantly, empowered me but also knew what the hell they were doing.  I needed someone to show me the ropes, make me jump in with both feet. 

As I'm walking back to my hotel, by myself, this lady comes up to me and our conversation goes like this:

Her: "Are you here for BlogHer?"

Me: "Yes, are you?"

Her: "Yep, just headed back to the Fairmont"

Me: "Same here.  Is this your first time here?"

Her: "No. Did you go to Pathfinder today?"

Me: No I should have. Did you?"

Her: "Yes, I taught one of the classes."

{insert prayers answered here}

 

If it had been appropriate, I would have jumped up and down.  That was the moment I knew I had met the right person.  After almost 2 hours later and some over-sharing, we were stuck together.  We had the most amazing conversations and she already had a list of people I needed to meet.  We hugged and parted ways.  When I got back to my room, of course I had to find her on all the social medias and that's when I saw this on her instagram:

 

This photo was taken about an hour before we met on the street.  Meant to be? I think so! So meet Jen from Me, Myself and Jen. I firmly believe my BlogHer experience is forever changed because of her and the wonderful people she introduced me to.

 

The next 2 days were non stop.  The conference was in full swing and everything was go go go. I got to meet Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess and she signed her book for me.  If you don't know who she is or what she writes, you should.  She started her interview by saying, "If you're offended by the word fuck, you shouldn't be here." And instantly, my lady crush on her was even bigger.

 

 

 

Kerry Washington and Arianna Huffington were also keynote speakers and I can't say enough about them.  They were inspiring, funny and just real women.  I was so moved by their interviews and the things they had to say.  This was def one of the highlights of BlogHer.

 

 

 

Quick funny story.  The more people I met, the more times I'd hear, "have you met Jen Lee Reeves yet??"  Jen Lee Reeves was actually the first name I heard out of Jen's (the other Jen) mouth, the night we met.  Jen Lee Reeves has a daughter, Jordan, that was born with a limb difference and she blogs all about it over at Born Just Right. Thank goodness I wore my bright green shirt that day because I was really easy for Jen Reeves to spot me in the middle of a thousand women.  She was so excited when she approached me and asked would I please come meet her daughter. And so we went and I got to take a picture with the rockstar known as Jordan.

 

 

For sure, the highlight of my entire BlogHer experience was getting picked to read one of my blog posts in front of these amazing women.  Listen to Your Mother Show hosted an open mic night and I was picked.  It was the most amazing thing I've ever done. Ever.

 

I didn't have long to decide what I was going to read but there was no doubt in my mind.  I read my first letter to Charles.  My only regret is crying in the beginning but by far, I'm so glad I had this opportunity.

 

Part 3 The Important Shit

Okay. Now that the most boring part of the post has been written and read, now it's onto the important shit.  The Closing Party.  I had no idea what to expect when they said the closing would be in a "parking lot and hosted by McDonald's."  What exactly do you wear to that?  Since I already packed a cute dress for it, I thought, I might as well wear it.

 

 

 

 

When I got there I was in total shock.  This party was legit.  Open bar. Beautiful decorations and no shit, a big McDonalds trailer with any and all the food you could want.  They even had people walking around with fries on a platter...help yourself. 

 

 

Of course, a selfie backdrop made out of roses. Because why not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BlogHer14 wasn't at all what I thought it would be.  It was more.  It was women who were the same as me, sharing time together.  It was women the same as me, who needed time away from their kids.  It was women the same as me, who wanted to share their heart, who wanted to laugh until we cried, who wanted to do weird dancing at the close out party, who wanted to eat bacon off each others plates and who wanted to take a ridiculous amount selfies.  I learned so much at BlogHer, and not just about blogging.  I learned about me.  I learned about others. I learned how to tune into my happy place and that I need to go there more often.  This trip was 100% about me, no one else, and I couldn't have loved it more. 

Where do I sign up for BlogHer15?

 

 

(a couple more posts will be coming about my clothes and the surprise going-home gift my girls worked on) (this was entirely too much info for one post and I'm kinda to the annoyed point of just wanting to finish) (sorry)

 

 

 

 

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