I drove up with Meredith on Thursday, it was an easy drive only about 4 or so hours which I was expecting it to be more like 5. To start with the Gaylord Texan was incredible. The staff were fantastic and the lady at the desk upgraded our room because she wanted us to have a good view and the original room we had she said was not the best view. Throughout the weekend the staff were all pretty great and made the stay very enjoyable.
After we registered we checked out the Handmade Market place and found these super cute bracelets from Thread
After browsing around and meeting some bloggers I had never met, April, who owns PolkadotPosies took a group of us to dinner which was incredibly sweet of her. It was nice to have dinner and talk with some great women some of whom I had talked to on twitter a lot and others I had never met.
We then headed to the Newcomers meet and greet which was so so. It made me realize I am an introvert because while I thought I would have no trouble approaching people I was so wrong. I felt like a deer in headlights. I noticed a few people I recognized and talked to on twitter/IG/Blogworld but for some reason was so afraid to approach them. What if it was awkward or they didn't like me. I warmed up and after a few people approached me it wasn't so scary. I hope I didn't come off as stuck up or snobby to anyone.
Duck Tape dress like on the Project Runway Challenge.
Friday and Saturday was a mix of attending sessions, mingling and socializing.
The opening keynote by Scott Stratten was incredible!! He gave us a copy of his new book and I cant wait to start reading it.
The sessions were a bit underwhelming. I think I just went to the wrong sessions. The sessions I attended most of which were not applicable to me or what I want to do with this blog. I chose which ones to attend based on the description but if ever go back I think I will choose a little differently.
I did attend one session by Megan Jordan about focus. This is something I have a major issue with and she talked a lot about not multitasking and being distracted by social media and blogging. We need to set limits, build boundaries...both things I need to focus more on. She was right on when she said not to open email/twitter/IG first thing in the morning. I do this far to much I find myself with my phone in my face before my feet hit the floor scrolling through twitter and the like. This is horrible, I NEED to stop this. For me, God needs to be the first thing I focus my attention on first thing. It was a reality check! She said something else that struck a chord she said we will end up "one more second"-ing our child's life away and before we realize it they are all grown up and we missed out on so much because we needed "one more second" for something so trivial as social media. I definitely need to work on this balance.
Jon Acuff did the closing keynote and he did not disappoint!! I had heard so many good things about him and I love reading his blog so I was so excited to hear him speak in person! He gave us a special copy of his book that will come out in April and I really cant wait to read it. One thing he said that really rang true for me was You can't compare your starting line to someone elses middle. I do this way too much and it leaves me feeling down on myself but success doesn't happen overnight and it takes work. I cant compare myself to someone who has been doing something so much longer than me and expect to be where they are be it work, blogging, parenting, etc.
In general I had a great time! I met some fantastic women. There has been a lot of buzz about how horrible Blissdom was and how cliquey it was yadda yadda. Its a conference full of women what do you expect, some women are catty. I never really felt rejected by anyone. There were some people I met whom I have talked to on twitter a lot and now we aren't just online friends but in real life friends. I skipped out on some sessions to chat and hang out which I think was a great decision! I met some ladies who I had not known prior and I couldn't be happier for our new friendships.
I think there wasn't so much an issue with cliques but rather you find the group of women you connect with and are comfortable with and thats who you want to hang with. There were definitely some people who I "knew" online and "talked to on twitter" that were NOT what I expected in real life. It was as is if they acted as though they were too good for little ol me with the not so huge blog. I didn't let it get to me, maybe it was THEIR insecurities causing them to act in that way. I don't know maybe their heads were just too big for them to handle I don't know.
In all I had a great time I loved getting to know my roomie better and meeting the women I got to meet. Will I go back...maybe. I think it would depend on who is going and my life circumstances at the time. It felt more like a girls weekend than a conference which is ok, Im always down for a fun girls weekend!!
No post would be complete without a little food porn:
eggplant appetizer of some sort...was delicious!
my dinner at the italian restaurant in the hotel...sooo good, maybe its
because we hardly got fed during the day but the dinner was so good!
a fun little drink from go-go squeeze