BlogHer and some of the fabulous women I spent time with while there

I knew from the moment I saw the name of the 2011 host city pop up on the big screen last year at BlogHer, that I had to attend this year. It was to be in San Diego, a city I simply adore. The palm trees, the perfect temperatures, and the lack of precipitation make it perfect for me. I could write a whole post dedicated to San Diego and my love for it and my strong desire to live there again someday, but this post is about BlogHer and some of the random thoughts that have been in my head since I returned home in the wee hours of the morning on Monday. I struggled at my first BlogHer in 2010 so I made a promise to myself that this year would be different, this year would be better. Not only was I eager to see so many friends from other events I’ve attended over the course of the year, but I was also excited to meet bloggers who I admire for the first time, in person. The ones who I read the minute a new post goes live. The ones who make me laugh, cry, and think the most. Being in their presence was going to be a big deal, but I was nervous. No matter how you look at it, BlogHer is big, huge in fact, with over 3000 bloggers in attendance it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and, surprisingly, alone. Seeing a familiar face means I could let out my breath and relax a little. There is something to be said when your eyes meet with a friend’s and you both smile and can’t get a hug fast enough. I felt that several times this year. It’s truly wonderful. One of the reasons this post has taken me several days to write is because, well, BlogHer is exhausting and BlogHer on the opposite coast is even more exhausting. Also, though, I’ve been battling some sort of crud in my head and throat and trying to rest as much as possible. Possibly the biggest reason I’ve taken so long is because I want to mention so many names, but always fear I’ll leave someone out. I’ve spent a couple days making a list of the women who stood out as part of making my experience at BlogHer this year so darn fantastic and I’m sure I probably forgot someone really amazing, but I’ll do my best to share some of the most wonderful women I came in contact with while in San Diego.

I can’t start sharing without mentioning my roommates, Lori and Megan. I don’t know about you, but finding roommates can be tricky and finding roommates who you will mesh well with can be even more challenging. In this case, three women in one room could certainly have been awful if one of us snored or had our phone on all night with obnoxious notifications chiming at random times, or one was a total bathroom hog. You get the point. I was lucky, though. Not only did I have two fantastic women to share a room with, but we also had a breathtaking view of San Diego. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure they both heard me say, probably more than once, that our view included the apartment building where Paul and I first lived as a married couple. Ladies, I love you both. Thank you for sharing this part of the experience with me!

The evening before the conference began I attended the most rockin’ of parties hosted by the fabulous women of Clever Girls Collective. What can I say? Anything they put their hands on is amazing. Almost immediately upon my arrival, Cat(one of the Clevers) came over and gave me a hug and expressed she was glad I came – one of the many reasons I love this group. They are warm and welcoming in the most sincere way!  I rode over with Kim and I’m pretty sure we are lucky to have survived the ride. Seriously, some of those San Diego pedicab drivers are insane. I love Kim. She reminds me of home (we’re both from the Northeast) as she puts me at ease and makes me laugh and I always feel a sense of comfort when I’m with her. This was the first of a few times we got to spend together and I’m grateful for every minute!

Another Northeast pal is Christy. Christy and I finally met in person for the first time this past June and we hit it off so I was looking forward to seeing her face again and getting a hug and having some fun together. I got to spend a fair amount of time with Christy. She’s caring and supportive and helpful and I know that at any time I could have reached out to her for support if I was feeling overwhelmed and she would have made herself available to me. Oh, and she’s a huge tech nerd, which I love. I’m hoping some of her knowledge will rub off on me in the future!

Oh Victoria! Yours is a face that I’ve come to look for in the crowd for that mutual smile and connection since we first met only eight short months ago. You are truly a gem and although I totally suck at taking pictures with your fancy camera, you still asked me to do it……more than once. I’m not sure how those photos actually look, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be winning any awards with my photography (un)skills. This girl isn’t meant to have fancy gadgets. It’s just fun to be around Victoria, though. I kept calling her Vicky or Vicki, though. I’m not even sure which she prefers. I obviously can’t call her a friend if I can’t even get her name right. Or maybe she told me what she prefers and I simply wasn’t paying attention. That’s entirely possible. Maybe she’d be okay okay if I just call her V. I’ll have to ask.

So one of those bloggers who I mentioned earlier? The ones who I admire and got all nervous about meeting? One of them was Jessica. Seriously, I drove my husband crazy with constant texting about how worried I was that she wouldn’t like me or that I would totally embarrass myself and say something totally dorky and want to run away and hide in my hotel room for the rest of the conference. I was a ridiculous mess and my husband is a saint. Then I saw Jessica’s face and she recognized me (or she pretended really well to recognize me – I mean this is California and filled with actresses, right?!) and we hugged and walked to dinner with Laurie. It was fun and laid back and simply didn’t last long enough for me. I wish we had several more hours together. Next time, definitely next time.

Of course I have some awesome party dancing memories. The first of which were at Sparklecorn. What can I say? Sparklecorn is for slurping a cocktail, dancing like crazy, and the place to the find the most gorgeously crafted Unicorn cake anywhere! What more do you need? Well, some fun pals to boogie down with certainly helps. I got to groove with some of my favorite people while at Sparklecorn. Robin is someone who, to put it mildly, doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. It’s one of the many things I love about her, as well as her amazing talent for creating artsty stuff. So like hanging on the dance floor with Robin isn’t fun enough, we were also in the company of Cecily. I swear it was a challenge to keep up with Cecily. She’s got some serious rhythm and I’m pretty sure she was partying on the dance floor like it was 1999. Here’s the thing about both Robin and Cecily. Not only can they burn up a dance floor and make me laugh until I nearly pee my pants, but they have two of the biggest hearts I’ve ever found on the internet. I’m so darn happy for my time spent with the two of them.

Then there’s that one face. The big smiling one that belongs to the first person to make me feel comfortable at my first BlogHer last year in New York City, a time when I was often overwhelmed and emotional while feeling alone even though I was among thousands of other bloggers. She’s warm and friendly and always there to offer a smile or a hug and just seeing her from a distance puts me at ease. That person is Molly. Thank you for being so wonderful, Molly. You are truly special!

Here’s a crazy story. Imagine over 20 years ago while in high school, a high school where each graduating class had barely 200 students in an area that was about as rural as it gets, you knew who a lot of people were, but you didn’t actually know them. That was the case for me, especially the girls in the class that graduated in 1989, one year before I graduated. They were scary girls to me. I remember being afraid of them, like a look from any of them would cause me to run and hide inside of a locker or if they actually spoke to me I might become tongue tied and not know what to say. I’m not the only one, right? Right?! It’s so funny how we perceive people just because of who they are or who they associate with. I mean, I’m pretty sure I was right about some of these girls, but I know some of them were also just as scared as me or had built a wall of protection so they couldn’t be hurt by anyone or their words or actions. High school is such a crazy time in our lives. Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I was reading an article on a website and glanced at the sidebar at the list of contributors. One of them was Nichole. Holy crap! Nichole from my high school. Nichole, one of those girls I feared in high school. Nichole who was the maid of honor to one of our most special friends, Crystal. She’s a blogger, too. Suddenly I felt connected to her. I mean, like I said, I knew who she was, I just didn’t know her as a person. I’ve been missing out. Oh, here’s the awesome part. We both went to BlogHer and danced and talked and she bought me more drinks than my husband ever did when we were dating. There was this special connection having come from not only the same state (originally), but also the very same high school. Nichole inspires me. During our time together she made me laugh, some of her blog posts have made me cry, and I’m so very glad to have connected with her at BlogHer. I cannot wait until the next time I get to hug you, Nichole!

I know I’ve left so many people out. So many who I met for the first time or spent time with here and there, but I’ll use the excuse that my mind is still decompressing from the whole experience and hope that they realize they enter my thoughts as random moments and were a part of the most wonderful memories I took home from BlogHer.

Here’s the sucky part. The part where I talk about the one that got away, or the one I allowed to get away. I mean, I’d love to say she wasn’t there this year or that I never saw her to introduce myself and give her a hug, but none of that is true. I simply have no rational reason why I didn’t attack Erin with a hug as my first opportunity, or my second, or third. She was on my list. The list of people I could regret if I didn’t meet them. The list of people in my head that I had to see while in San Diego at BlogHer this year before I made the trip back home. Well, I certainly saw her more than I expected. It was like the universe was giving me plenty of opportunity since I kept on bailing out at every chance I got. I’m so lame and ridiculous and sitting here kicking myself from 3000 miles away. I simply wimped out, which sounds so lame when it read it out loud, but I did. Here’s the thing about Erin. The fact she even showed up to BlogHer is a big deal, a very big deal. I’m not being all dramatic here. It’s simply a fact. She’s one of the bravest, strongest, and most wonderful women I’ve come to know on the internet. Next time, I will not blow an opportunity to give her a hug and tell her so in person.

Overall BlogHer was wonderful. There were certainly some ups and downs, but this year the ups far outweighed the downs and I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend with the amazing women mentioned above and so many others who I came in contact with while there.



  1. Kim - Mommycosm says

    OMG! We totally were lucky to have survived that pedicab. Did I tell you they tried charging me $60 on the way back?! And he said it was b/c he is illegal and they charge him more for bike rental. Um, no.
    Let’s try to get together soon on our coast, k?

    • Seriously Kim! They are such a joke, at least many of them were. I wonder just how accountable they are to the city or someone? Much prefer a cab in the future…..and YES! I’d love to see you more on our coast. I’ve gotta figure out a way to get to some of those Boston area events


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