I have been prepping for BlogHer for MONTHS…which you all know. Some of you even helped get me there. Because you are awesome like that.
People? It was a big, crazy blur.
I would take you day by day through it, but if you weren’t there it won’t make a ton of sense. I will give you the run down on what I did and what I would do differently if I go again.
Cort and Eddie brought me to the airport Wednesday afternoon. It was so hard to say goodbye. So hard in fact that when I got to the security check point and the lady asked for my boarding pass, I gave her the wrong one and then burst into tears because I was so frazzled.
Luckily she was kind and the security lines in Grand Rapids were short.
One of my biggest moments happened in the San Diego airport near baggage claim. I finally met my blogging bestie, Miranda. We knew each other. No, really. It was like we have been friends forever…like this wasn’t the first time we were meeting outside of our computer. Little did I know that this? Would be exactly what BlogHer was about.
The hotel was beautiful. Gorgeous. I think Cort would have loved it.
There may have been loud squeeing when Nichole first saw me. And it allegedly never stopped all weekend.
If I did this again? I would get their earlier than 9:30pm (which was really 12:30am for my east coast time zone self). Wednesday night was one of the only laid back time we had and I wish I would have been able to enjoy it more.
Thursday was Pathfinders day. Yummy breakfast and lunch. Great speakers. Unfortunately this is also when I realized I had to punk out of afternoon things due to needing a preggo nap. This was pretty much my routine for the rest of the weekend.
I know this was mostly due to the kidney bean-sized human growing in my belly. And honestly, I don’t think I would go to a blogging conference this intense during pregnancy again. Some of the ladies there like Torie, rocked it while battling the first trimester. I did not fare so well. Thank God (and my OB…and Casey, the self-proclaimed vomit whisperer) for Zofran.
I enjoyed the sessions. Next time I want to get to more of them. Even if I have to go alone to some. This year I just was feeling too blah to make it to many.
The parties rocked my face. Clevergirls, Big Toy Book, Toca Boca, Cheap Sally, Hostess with the Mostess, not to mention all the awesome BlogHer sponsored parties like Sparklecorn and CheeseburgHer. And the Expo full of awesome. Not only did I get to bump elbows with some sweet brands, but I walked away with more swag than could choke a horse (and there is allegedly a vlog coming soon to Sluiter Nation of me showing off the goods).
**Oh and sidenote: My jaw-drop moment of BlogHer happened at the CleverGirls party where not only did Jill recognize me, but knew I was pregnant and was super excited to meet me. I may have mumbled something completely moronic in response since I was stunned that she was saying hi to ME.
Anyway, I got home and realized that a LOT of the swag was more unnecessary than I thought, but in the words of Miranda? I was totally attracted by the “bright lights and free shit”. The Dutch in me did somersaults of joy.
The absolute best moments of BlogHer for me didn’t happen at sessions or parties or the expo, however. The best parts happened when we did “nothing”. Wednesday night at the pool, ditching a keynote to hang by the pool and have snacks, late night chats with my roommates, dinner out with friends, breakfast in the hotel the last morning.
If I go again? I want more of these moments. Hands down.
I realized somewhere along that lines that those moments are why I face my fears of traveling alone, my anxiety of being in a too-crowded, too-busy place, and my nerves about not being what people hoped.
Miranda, Nichole, Cheryl, Gigi, Natalie, Tonya, Sherri, Lori, and Yuliya (and I am sure I am missing people)…you are my soul mates. Meeting you all just reaffirmed what I already knew…we are friends. And the next time I see you, will not be soon enough.
And lastly, I need to give a shout out to Jen for hooking this preggo up with some YUM peanut butter fudge, and to Kit for being all anonymous (yes, there are mad rumors about who you REALLY are, but I don’t even care), yet finding me and thumb wrestling me and always being there with a kind, optimistic word when I am down.
And thank you to everyone who had a hand in getting me to BlogHer. Even if it was just a thought or prayer or $1. You made a dream of mine come true.