So, I never did finish my re-cap of Blissdom.
Its been hard in a way because of the awesomeness that was shoved into those short few days.
Its also been hard because I really connected with someone that is over 12 hours away.
It all started while texting my friend Issa about a week before I was set to leave. She wasn’t going to be there, but wanted me to be able to hug someone that she knew and that way it was like hugging me. (or something like that)
Twitter helped us weed out those who weren’t going and finally we found someone she knew, she had hugged before, and was going to be there.
I DM’ed her my number and we decided that we should get together at some point over the weekend.
On Thursday night, during the Opening Cocktail party, I got a text.
“I am at the front door, where are you?”
“On my way.”
I get to the entrance to the Jack Daniel’s Saloon and there were a few ladies there. I thought “Shit, I am not sure who Bridget is and….”
Before I finished that thought she pipes up in the cutest southern accent “Heather?”
And soon there were hugs!
We met up again at the Bubbles and Bits party hosted by the Clever Girls-it was great.
I was talking to her about cameras and we escaped the noise of the (awesome) party and chatted out on the balcony of the pink mansion.
We agreed on so many points, even though our lives are so vastly different, in some points they were the same.
We walked around later taking photos, enjoying each other’s company….it went on like that all weekend.
On Saturday when I woke up in a flare up and I just wanted to walk around to take pictures, she went with me. Even though there was more silence, it wasn’t awkward. It was comfortable.
We met up on Sunday morning so we could say good-bye. It sucked that she was traveling just about as far south as I was traveling north.
Briget is someone that would make me a better person by me being around her. She would make me more accountable but in a loving and caring way. I could see us meeting for Diet Cokes (since she doesn’t do coffee) in the afternoons.
But for Giggles’s whole life she has been consumed by these four
Some people ask why do I sit there for the hour, if I really don’t want to be there.
The answer is the smile that I never see unless she is on the back of the horse
The way she handles the horses, the way the instructors tell her that she is such a
All photos are taken with my Canon Xsi and 50mm 1.8 lens.
To view more weekly winners check out the linky love over at Lotus’s place.
Lately, unless we are going somewhere special I have been taking less pictures, but still getting in my one photo of the day.
After backing up 2009 and realizing the shear amount of photos that I have, I am realizing again that less is more.
Back in the film days I didn’t take quite so many photos because it was just too costly. Digital photos are great on spending less money, but I seem to be spending more time at my computer and away from my girls.
My girls who are growing up faster than I can comprehend. Time I can’t get back sitting at my desk pouring over the photos.
So I try to do more, take less photos, but make them memorable all the same.
On Friday The Chicken and I decided to go and check out the falls near our house. It was still pretty cold and I was hoping that the falls would still be frozen.
I admit we got there a bit late, the falls were mostly in the shadows and raging. The river was still & frozen so I snapped a couple of photos and then The Chicken pipes up.
After we viewed the falls she decided we were going to take a walk to the observation deck. As she ran through the snow she pointed out all of the dead flowers to me & exclaimed how beautiful they were against the snow & sky.
Part Two of Joy through their eyes will be here tomorrow as I know this post is long and I want to do justice to the photos….so please come back!
It has been two weeks since I was partying it up in Nashville in the Opryland Resort with the gals (and some guys) at Blissdom.
I want to recap it perfectly, so I think over the next little bit I am going to just post the recaps and snippets from my mind as I feel it.
So without further delay….meet Jennifer.
I am sure that many of you know Jennifer. (If not, have you been living under a rock-she is totally famous on the internets!)
I have no idea how I started reading Jennifer’s blog, but somehow it happened, I became a regular commenter, I thought she was a rock star and last year at Blissdom I met her for the first time.
Amy, Shannan, Christina & I come into the lobbyat the hotel Preston. Jennifer comes up to hug the gals she knows and in my head I kept thinking “OMG it Jennifer from Playgroups…JENNIFER!!” alternating with “Wow, she is a lot shorter or I am a lot taller than I thought….OMG JENNIFER!!” and she looks over to me “Heather?!!?”
I stammer a couple of words out, give her a hug and in my brain I was all still “JENNIFER…..JENNIFER….OMG….JENNIFER!”
I consider Jennifer a friend. We have emailed on occassion and she even guest posted for me back when I messed up my wrist Labor Day of 08. Although after reading the last section of this post she probably considers me a a stalker and when I go to give her a hug at BlogHer this summer some guys in dark sunglasses that talk into their watches will totally ask me to step away from the nice blogger.
Anyways, I swear this story has a point.
At the Cocktail party on Thursday nite at Blissdom I see Jennifer. She comes up to me & grabs onto my shoulder and sort of drags me over to a doorway to see this tall-ish man surrounded by ladies. (Now if you have seen Jennifer & I together you would realize what a sight of her dragging me by the shoulder would be)
She has this crazed look in her eyes, kind of like deer in the headlights, but a bit crazier and she starts asking me things about something, only I can’t understand because its loud, she isn’t really making much sense and she is talkingthisfastandIcan’tunderstandwhatisgoingon.
I pulled a couple of words out of it like George, Hunt’s Guy, Food T.V.
Finally I look at her and say “What?”
“That guy over there, doesn’t he remind you of George Duran, the Hunt’s Guy…you know from the Food Network?!”
I told her I didn’t know who he was and she let out this sigh. No one could confirm if this guy was George or George’s doppleganger and that was bothering her….lots.
So I decide to find out if this guy really is George Duran, only I get over to him and I can’t remember his name. I don’t want to look like an ass, so I decide to go back to Jennifer, Sarah, & Bridget to find out his name one more time.
Jennifer couldn’t believe I was going over there to find out if this was George or not.
So while I walk the 30 feet away from the girls, they totally leave where I had left them. And they were giggling. (So when people tell you that blogging conferences are just like high school-sort of believe them, I totally felt like I was going up to some guy at a dance to see if he likes so and so and if they can meet over by the punch bowl)
The guy (who I haven’t yet confirmed his idenity) totally stops talking to the ladies he was with when I came up to him. He was all friendly and offered me his hand to shake.
I asked him “By any chance are you George Duran?”
His face beams “Why yes I am.” (he says something else that I can’t remember but its basically asking me if I enjoyed his show or something.
To which I tell him I have NO clue who he is, but my friend Jennifer is a huge fan and she was trying to get someone to either confirm or deny that he is who he is.
Its at this point I turn around to motion to my friend Jennifer who is dying of laughter and can not believe I am talking to George Duran.
George, being the sport that he is, says “Why let’s go meet your friend Jennifer.”
So I introduced Jennifer to George and let me tell you she was smitten. Her smile was a mega watt smile.
And while the photo is kind of grainy & not really the best, I love how happy she is & that I could do something to make her that way.
Because friendship is what bliss is all about
That’s right…a Lion.
Okay, not a Lion but THE Lion.
Lion is the long awaited son of my friend Renee’s. He is waiting for them in Ethiopia as paperwork finishes up.
Soon, very soon, The Lion will be at home with his parents and his loving sister Bunny.
When we heard that Lion would soon become part of Renee’s family, Issa emailed a bunch of us and wanted to throw a baby shower for her. But seeings how we are all so spread apart from one another, a virtual baby shower was more practical.
I have to admit I was a bit relieved that there wasn’t any mention of games.
Like the one where we all take toilet paper and pull out how much we think will go around Renee’s belly.
I know Renee is fit and thin, but I am not sure what woman likes to tell you how big around her waist is. Plus I am pretty sure that my waist is *ahem* a bit more generous than hers, and I don’t want to know by how much.
Then there is that baby diaper game were you guess the baby food in the diaper by sniffing it. Now I am pretty sure that by the time it got from state to state it wouldn’t really matter what it started out as, it would be just as toxic if it was a used baby diaper. And I surely don’t want to be on the later end of that shipment list.
And of course if I were actually going to a baby shower I couldn’t celebrate here in the comfort of my bedroom in my PJ’s and stained up sweatshirt. Well, I guess I could but all the baby showers I have been to have been at churches and they might be confused as to why I am there and I might end up walking out of the shower with a clean set of clothes and a bible. (which isn’t all bad I guess)
But in all seriousness, Renee, I am so beyond happy for you and your family. I know that Bunny will be super excited when Lion comes home and she can actually play with him opposed to when The Chicken came home and Giggles insisted I needed to get a bigger model-one that wasn’t so barfy and loud.
Now while I don’t have any boys here in my house, I know from my sister’s house of 3 boys that things can get loud and then louder very quickly.
Also, boys are gross. It is amazing that you never have to teach them the Al Bundy style of shoving their hand down the front of their pants, but you will have a really hard time breaking them of it.
They also know about guns, even if you don’t want them to. I remember my sister was insistent that they boys were not going to play with guns. One day my nephew was over my house and he realized that the Polly Pocket was the perfect size for a laser gun….and thus the Polly Zapper 2000 was born. I tried to get him to stop but then he realized he had a pointer finger and a thumb to make the same gun….how the heck do you take away their hand without CPS getting involved.
Lastly, cheerios make excellent potty training aides for boys. They never eat all the Cheerios so instead of tossing those stale cheerios in the trash, toss ‘em in the toilet and let him have at it with target practice. Because if you don’t toss something in there for them to aim & shoot at, chances are good they will take it upon themselves to find
your brand new razor refills for your Venus razor something.
So much love to you this day and hopefully the days will pass quickly and the miles will melt apart so that Lion will be at home with you all and not just close to you heart.
This week I will be doing some spreading of the linky love while reflecting on my time at Blissdom.
Sharing moments that made me so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone & had one of the best times of my life.
And at the end of this week I will be sharing some Blissdom love with you-love of the Harry Connick Jr. variety.
I can’t thank my husband enough for sending me there, for letting me go.
For knowing something was important to me and not guilting me while I was gone because I wasn’t here.
I was there. With so many of them. Those that I have loved from afar, those who I never met but loved instantly.
Last year when I went to this conference I barely poked my head out of my shell. I stuck with those I knew.
I stayed comfortable.
However, when I returned I was disappointed that I didn’t do more, see more, talk to more. I could be more than
comfortable from my own home and it wouldn’t have taken me eight hours to get there or cost me all that dough.
I decided that I had to make the most of it this year. I wasn’t going to let my husband down.
Fifteen years is a long time and a big milestone and I was 500 miles away.
I wanted to come back from that conference knowing that I did all I could to make this the most memorable experience
of my life.
I succeeded. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I introduced myself, I gave hugs, I shared my opinions.
I regretted nothing. (Okay maybe a little when the gals at dinner with me on Saturday learned really how germaphobic I was)
This long weekend helped me to learn a lot about myself, about what brings about my bliss.
In the midst of a major fibro flare-up on Saturday, I fought through the agonizing pain. I was not going to surrender even one
minute of my weekend of capturing Bliss to anything unless I chose it.
I walked away happy. I haven’t stopped talking about my experience for days to anyone who would listen.
I really lived life to the fullest this weekend, despite the pain, despite the nagging voice in my head.
All without the crutch of alcohol that I used last year. That was freeing in itself.
I will have more to say about Blissdom in the coming days, but for now I just needed to get these words out. A starting point, a launch for my thoughts if you will.
Thank you to each of you, because without you I would never decided that a blogging conference was for me.
Now I count down the days until the next one.
Singing Karaoke with Bridget-another thing I have never done before
If you want to check out the rest of the photos that I took from Blissdom, please click on the photo to go to my flickr stream