Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bliss-tastic: The Recap

* Warning: This is a long post with lots of pictures. But there are some of Harry, so just suffer through, okay?*

1. The People
One of the wonderful things about Blissdom is that you get to hang out with amazing and cool people who you stalk think you "know", but really you don't "know". You know?

The bloggers, they are everywhere.

Me, Stephanie and Holley from (In)Courage and Amanda from OhAmanda at the Thursday night Cocktail Party
{Photo by Mary from Giving Up On Perfect}
Blissdom 6
Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife {I'm assuming you know I'm the gal on the left by now}
{Photo by Mary}
Blissdom 3
Lisa Leonard from Lisa Leonard Designs, of course.
{Photo by Mary}
Blissdom 5
My sweet friend who loves me even though I stalk her. Mary took all these pictures and for this one kept saying, "We've got to take it again, you have CRAZY eyes". I do not know what was going on other than my excitement to hang out with my girl, Lisa.

Mary from Giving Up on Perfect {afore mentioned photographer and one of my roomies}, Robin from Pensive and me
{Photo by Moosh in Indy who is also amazing}Blissdom 12
Robin led a wonderful and spirit-filled Prayer Breakfast on Saturday morning. I was so glad to be there!

Mary and I were patiently waiting to see Harry! {Photo by my pal Dawn from MHSH}
Blissdom 10
With Arianne from To Think is to Create.
{Photo by Mary}
Blissdom 7
There are about 30 of these pictures in the Blissdom Flickr set from many different photographers because we sat here and talked for over an hour.
You have no idea how much I enjoyed our conversation. Love this girl!!

Saturday morning breakfast with the beautiful {inside and out} Sarah Markley, Ashleigh from Heart and Home, Mary, me, Chrissie {Lisa's twin sister and amazing person in her own right} from Handmade Play and Tammy from Greek Grits.
{Have no idea who took this picture, but it was on Mary's camera}Blissdom 9
Speaking of grits, all the food was phenominal- not like regular conference food.

But we did sneak out one night to a local fine dining establishment called the Baja Burrito.
You can tell from the signs on the wall that we only eat the best.

This is Holley and me, Ashleigh, Annie from Annie Blogs, Stephanie and Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy.
{Photo by Mary. Can you tell I swiped all her pics?}
Blissdom 8
We are all wearing Lindsey's amazing poppies {except for her} and they were one of the most fun things about Blissdom because she gave them out with her business card! Even better is that Lindsey is awesome, funny and adorable.

Annie and I kept missing each other in real life and I was so glad to finally hang out. We spilled drinks, knocked over chairs and snorted when we laughed. She's my kind of gal. And she came up with my new tagline when I switch my blog over to WordPress. That's right- the big move's a-comin'. But not to worry- still the same site, but one day you'll pop over and it will be prettier.

Just think of it as having it's eyebrows plucked.

People who I did NOT get pictures with, but got to hang out with and loved {This portion is for 1) name dropping 2) helping myself remember and 3) so you can let me know who you already know and how you love them, too}:

Jessie from Vanderbilt Wife- hello roomie?? Where are our pictures??
Darcy from My 3 Boybarians
Deanna from Design Chicky and Domestic Chicky
Kim and Kris from The DIY Dish
Nester from The Nesting Place
Kimba from A Soft Place to Land
Emily from Chatting at the Sky
Maggie from Gussy Sews
Dedra Herod from Just a Chick
Jessica Turner from The Mom Creative {Who's hubby just wrote an awesome new book!}
Kimberly from Raising Olives
Melissa from A Familiar Path
Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Jenny from 86753oh9
Mandi from It's Come To This
Edie from Life in Grace
Tsh from Simple Mom
Steph from Adventures in Babywearing
Melanie from Blogging Basics 101
Kristi from Pink and Polka Dot
Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer
Melissa from The Inspired Room

I am positive that I'm leaving someone out. Please let me know if we are friends and I am forgetting you. Please forgive my dorkiness.

Edited to add the people I LOVE and canNOT believe I left out:
Jill from Diaper Diaries {hysterical AND she can rock at Karaoke}
Melissa from Multi-Tasking Mama {such a fun breakfast together}
Aubrey from Little Bits of Life {THRILLED that she is really close by}
Malia from Just Malia {super sweet and I love her About Me section- you must go read}
Myra from My Blessed Life {Ah. Dor. A. Bull.}

2. The Perks
Y'all, the Blissdom staff did an unbelievable job of providing us all kinds of swag. I wanted to take a picture of all the goodies I came home with, but thought it would be kinda rude to rub all your proverbial faces in it. But just know it was awesome.
Lisa made every attendee a beautiful necklace that says "Bliss".
I won an autographed cookbook from George Duran {funny and a great cook- who I'm just noticing is extremely tall!}.
{Photo by Dawn of MHSH}
Blissdom 11
And there may or may not have been more things I won like a big jacket from iRobot and a beautiful platter, cross and tea towel from Dayspring. Like I said, I'd hate to rub it in.

Isn't that right, Harry?
{Photo by Dawn}
Blissdom 15
We wouldn't want to make people upset or sad.
{Photo by Dawn}
Blissdom 14
Or the least bit jealous.
{Photo by Darcy of My 3 Boybarians}
Blissdom 13
The scoop on Harry: super kind and cordial, charming {of course} and even joked that he thought we would be wearing red plaid shirts and suspenders... since it was a "loggers" convention.
Oh, it was bad, but I forgave him.

We got to meet him backstage after the concert and since he was flying out right after that to play at the Super Bowl {THE SUPER BOWL}, we took pictures in groups to be sure to get everyone in. {Please don't get me started on the fact that I'm so far away. I couldn't tell how we were entering and was last in with my group. Hindsight. Danggit.}

Much like Marcia Brady when she met Davy Jones, I have yet to wash my hand.

3. The Puh, Puh... um... The Lessons
The best part about all the Bliss is taking a step back to look at why we blog.

I love to tell stories- in person and on the world wide interweb. I like to encourage other people and make them laugh. I enjoy relating to women, laughing together and helping each other when needed {which is often for me!}. I think God likes a community that will do that for each other- in real life and online.

For my kids, this is the only cut, stickered and pasted scrapbook they are going to get unless I start putting silly robots, full sized men or balloons in notebooks. And that's about as likely as my blinds being dusted.

The best lesson and a consistent message from all the writing workshops was to be yourself {authenitic, organic, original- it was said a dozen ways}. Seems pretty simple to me, but I think sometimes as blog readers, we {me, too!} look at other people's sites and think, "I wish I could ____ like she does". Whether that blank be cook, dress, write, take good pictures, have cute kids, craft like Martha or find Seven Jeans at Goodwill.

It's a lot of the same thoughts that go through our heads as women in the first place.

But especially on a blog, people want you to be who you really are.

Which person are you at a party?
If you like to give fashion compliments or advice, do that on your blog.
If you like to talk about deep, spiritual matters, do it on your blog.
If you like to tell stories about your kids' poop-looking artwork- well- lets' just say that's taken, but you can join in, too!

The biggest compliment I got all weekend was from a reader who said, "You are really just like I thought you would be!" Wow. Did you catch that I have a reader? What in the world?

I think of this blog as a tiny extension of me. But not like hair extensions because that would be weird.

Puh-lease tell me you're going to be at Blissdom in 2011!
{I will definitely be there- possibly with a tiny baby.}
Or who do you "know" {stalk} that I happened to meet?

And, if you want to get all kinds of deep, why do you blog?


rachel said...

Blissdom was seven shades of amazing.
One of the things that I adored about you, every single time that I saw you, you were smiling.

That is amazing and wonderful and drew people towards you.

That's all ;-) ;-)

See you at Blissdom 2011 and I volunteer to hold, sniff and love on said possible tiny baby ;-)

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

You know I'll be there whenever there's a BlissDom! I loved seeing you again. Thanks for the photo credits. :-)

A little baby, huh? Awwww. :-)

Melissa Stover said...

wasn't it great! love all the photos. you looked adorable.

Anonymous said...

looks life a FUN time!!

Holley Gerth said...

Oh, girl, big southern sigh going on here. I'm having serious blissdom withdrawal. Missing you like crazy eyes!! (:

Heart you - XOXO

Chilihead said...

It was so great to hang out with you last weekend. Great recap.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

You WILL be there next year, even if it is with tiny baby, because we are not going to let you chicken out at the last minute.

Wonderful recap. Sigh. Let's do it all again, say, tomorrow, mmkay?

Heather of the EO said...

Oh I'm so glad you had such fun. I HOPE I get to go next year! (I'm secretly counting on it) :)

And I blog for the creative outlet and the connections. I fully believe in the connections. I think most of us are ourselves on our blogs, even if we don't always share all the details or circumstances or trials or whatever...I just recently started talking about something hard on my blog, and I am so grateful for how my readers (I know, I have readers, weird) so graciously accepted my truth. How they understand that I'm still me, exactly who I've been on my blog all along, just with an issue I wasn't ready to talk about until now.

Sorry for the LOOOONG comment.


Jenny86753oh9 said...

Hillary...LOVED your recap! But not as much as I loved meeting you and watching you eat those veggie chips! ;-) All kidding aside, you are my kind of people and I'm so happy I got to know you better IRL. I'll see ya at Blissdom'11!

Musings of a Housewife said...

I'm pretty sure you have more than one reader. :-) LOVED handing out with you. Can't wait to do it again!

Lydia said...

First of all, you look gorgeous in every.single.picture! I need some serious fashion advice and I want you to help asap!!!
Secondly, *SWOONING* over Harry. My goodness is he handsome and he's also funny, personable and a gentleman? Too bad he's taken and that you're in line ahead of me. haha!
I'm so glad you have a nice time. I think you are a fantastic blogger and I look forward to every post that you write. I would say that even if I wasn't a Hometown Homie.
Hugs, Lydia

Aubrey said...

Oh, girl! LOVE the pics! You are just too cute for words and I am so happy that we live c-l-o-s-e!

Emily said...

Sounds like sooo much fun! Hill, i must say that you look RADIANT! (love the new clothes). and did you take those pics of harry? that one of him singing (with the blue lights) is perfection. love it. and love him. so jealous!

Melissa said...

You make a great point about the "I wish..." syndrome. Darby just posted about that same thing last week! Why do I blog? I love that sense of community that blogging brings, and after "stalking" several blogs for a while, decided I should try it too. I just wish I could get some more readers; actually, I have readers, because I see them in my traffic feed, but they don't comment! How do you get people to comment?

Melissa said...

Oh, I think I saw some of your kinfolk on TV a few minutes ago! I'm guessing Harts & Flowers florist is the one that some of your family owns?

Malia said...

I'm glad you came to Blissdom and that I got to meet you! You are such a joy! And I'm already looking forward to next year.

thediaperdiaries said...


I will overlook that meeting me was not THE highlight of Blissdom for you. In all seriousness, you were so fun, I have added you to my google reader so I don't miss a moment of your awesomeness. Can't wait until Blissdom 2011

Stephanie B said...

OMG, next time I see you I'm shaking your hand and NEVER washing it again because it shook Harry's hand!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sooooooooooooo jealous! Gosh, he looked so darn handsome in those pics. :-)

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Completely forgiving you for forgetting that we bonded over breakfast on the steps ;) All the bloggers you mentioned rock and I feel so lucky to have met so many of you in real life....and that is one of the reasons I blog (I realized at Blissdom)- the connection and the community!

Phillips Phamily Mama said...

Girl, I totally forgot you were pregnant because in all of those pictures, YOU LOOK AMAZING!

You met so many of my objects of affection. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's recaps of the event, especially since I'm originally a Nashville girl.

I don't know if I'll ever go to a blogging convention. I sway back and forth between wanting to be a better blogger and the "freedom" to slack off with the posting. I would also be very likely to spaz out and lose use of my tongue should I come face to face with anyone I read daily.

The computer screen does allow us all to peek into each others' lives and identify with each other and where we're living in this moment. Some of us are moms, some of us want to be moms, some of us just want to express ourselves, some of us need to blog just to be able to think clearly.

I very often go back to my very first blog post to look at my list of five reasons I began to blog. I find myself pulling back when I realize that I wrote a post that didn't quite fit those criteria. I find myself pulling back when I check my email or site statistics one too many times in the day. And some little person in the house cries for attention. I find myself pulling back when I begin to crave comments as much as "real human adult" interaction.

I've loved meeting so many new people and I love that five people read my blog daily. I too am using it as a digital scrapbook of sorts. Most of all, I love sharing our daily goings-on with our family who is now so far away.

Maybe this should be a blog post? I'll shut up now!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'll be there! And I can't believe we didn't get a photo together! Or more time to talk as well. So glad you were there!


Susannah said...

You are glowing in those pictures! Just beautiful! Those were some good pointers from Blissdom. Looks like you had a great time and Harry Connick Jr. HOW AWESOME!!!!

Jen@balancing beauty and bedlamht said...

You are just too fun, too sweet and YES, just like you are in real life...matches the wonderfulness of your blog :)

and how did I miss your Jan post about your GW jeans...sheesh!! :)

Staci said...

I met you briefly towards the end of the weekend. You might better remember me as one of Amanda's sisterchicks!! Too bad our Pancake Pantry breakfast didn't quite work out. We'll definitely have to plan it for Blissdom '11 :)

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

I am going to try like crazy to be there in 2011. (I would have been there this year, but my church's women's retreat was the same weekend--how rude!) There are so many people I'd like to meet. Especially a couple of sisters I barely grazed past at She Speaks last summer but whom I'd love to sit and have a chat with. :)

And you, of course! And that little baby!

Jennifer said...

Looks like you had so much fun! I would love to meet some of those blogging SuperStars that I love to read (including you)!

Like I said in my very first blog post and in my about me section, I just blog to capture everday events from our life. I do it for me more than anything and I'm glad I have 3 or 4 readers that follow along! :-)

It's also been fun to meet some new people in the blogging world (again, including you!)

Lindsey said...

glad you had fun. you look AWESOME in all the pictures! pregnancy is very becoming for you:)! hope you are feeling well.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Dear Crazy Eyes,

Awesome recap, and no, I'm not biased because you used my pictures!

Your Roomie who cannot believe we didn't get a picture together.

Mandi @ It'scome2this said...

Such a great post! And you just gave me warm & fuzzies for including me in your list!!! Hopefully next time we'll spend more time together!

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

I meant to ask: How did you get our Harry picture?

nicole said...

I want to be there next year. So bad. With a little guy in tow (he'll be 9 months old) if I do make it.

I blog because it is fun and not something that I ever thought I would do and it stretches me and challenges me, but in a good, non-demanding way.

Robin ~ PENSIEVE said...

I'm on the run now, but saw this and HAD to tell you meeting & spending just a wee bit o' time with you was one of my favorite parts of Blissdom! FANtastic recap post & I wish I wasn't traveling so I could write/read/write/read MORE!


Kelly said...

OMG! You were 3 people away from HCJ. Love him! Love your blog! Blissdom sounds like so much fun but I am not a real blogger, I just pretend to be one so I can occasionally rant on the information super highway and comment on other people's blogs!

emily said...

Great to see you (again) Hillary! Loved looking at these pics. What a fun time it all was.

The Writer Chic said...

Um, hello? Where is MY name dropping shout out? I was (almost) there (in spirit). =(

And I should be in for '11. 9 months....I can wean whats-her-name by then. ;)

To Think is to Create said...

Heart you madly. I owe you a few emails too. :)

Anonymous said...

I am SO going to Blissdom 2011!! Can you say BIRTHDAY PRESENT? (hint hint hubby!) I'm just all shades of green with envy after reading about everyone's FABULOUS time! I HAVE to go because I can't stand stalking online anymore!
I blog, therefore, I am. hee hee!

Kimberly @ RaisingOlives said...

Great to meet you and hanging with another preggo!

I didn't get very many pictures and haven't put up any posts about BlissDom, but a post is on my to do list.

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

First, Hillary you look amazing, you are absolutely glowing in all your pictures. I love all the information you shared, especially all the the bloggers you met. Some people for me to stalk because I am planning on going to Blissdom next year. Lastly, I blog for two reasons, to share little details about the kids that get left out in phone calls and I love writing but need to get better at letting myself go with it. Sometimes it's just hard to put a lot of yourself out there.

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

First, Hillary you look amazing, you are absolutely glowing in all your pictures. I love all the information you shared, especially all the the bloggers you met. Some people for me to stalk because I am planning on going to Blissdom next year. Lastly, I blog for two reasons, to share little details about the kids that get left out in phone calls and I love writing but need to get better at letting myself go with it. Sometimes it's just hard to put a lot of yourself out there.

Sprittibee said...

I so wanted to meet you! Guess you'll just have to come to TX and go to Mom2.0 next weekend? ;) I am kicking myself for not looking for you harder... but I did spend a lot of time in my room with a cranky 10mo. old nursing baby that just didn't understand Mommy's need to hug on 'strangers'. :)

Donna said...

You look adorable and your clothes are super-cute! What a fun time you had! So good to see you schmoozing with Harry the beautiful.

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