Well, Alt. Summit is over. I am on a plane thousands of miles above the ground. Left alone with my thoughts and some $8 wifi. To be honest my thoughts are racing. It’s been a jam packed 4 days. I had the most ridiculous trip out to Salt Lake (and by ridiculous I mean TERRIBLE- do you follow me on twitter or instagram?). I thought when I got there it would slow down, but you are kind of on the go, go, go the moment you get there. Not in a bad way, it’s a go, go, go in the best possible way. It’s just very busy. Have you ever been to a blog conference before? They can be very overwhelming. So many bloggers, so many panels and so many sponsors to schmooze with. Where does one even start? Sometimes it feels like when you first get on a cruise ship and there is just SO.MUCH.TO.DO, that you kind of freak out because you want to do it all and you don’t want to miss anything. You plan your schedule to the exact minute to get the very most out of it all. But you know what I’ve found when you do that? You almost end up missing more. Sure the panels are fabulous and it’s great to head into the lounges to talk to sponsors but you know where I have found the most valuable connections? When I have been casual and have bumped in to people over lunch, or between a session. You can easily miss those special moments if you have your nose to the program, quickly moving from place to place.
I spoke on a panel about sharing without over sharing and dealing with negativity. I’ve seen more than my fair share of negativity about my blog and I have come a long way with how I deal (emotionally and practically) with it since my very first mean comment. To be honest I just don’t have room in my life for it. I never ever go read any of the comments they write about us on other sites and if they come here it’s my right to delete any hateful comment. End of story. It’s funny because my panel spent a good hour talking about all the negativity, yet all I could think about was how grateful I was. I looked out seeing so many smiling faces looking back at me and I thought this is why I blog. Here I was, sitting beside some of my favorite bloggers at a conference that was full of so many talented and aspiring women. It was awesome. Negativity aside, the blogging community is so freaking fantastic more than 95% of the time. In all my years, I would have never thought blogging would’ve changed my life as much as it has. I’ve made so many dear, dear friends that I couldn’t imagine my life without. I have loved meeting every reader who has come up and said hello over the years. Every postive email, comment, tweet. They do not go unnoticed. I know who you guys are. I may not always get to respond but if you’ve been commenting on my site then I can assure you, you have touched my life. The good will always out weight the bad. Always. Always. Always.
I shared a hotel room with 4 other girls. There was 1 king size bed and one tiny couch. Let’s just say 3 of us got cozy in that big bed together (yes, that’s us in the top picture with the animal masks. I’m the squirrel). My Dad asked me if it was awkward or uncomfortable to be in a room with girls I don’t know very well. Truth be told, it wasn’t. At all. After going to so many blogging events, I’ve realized that finally getting to meet online friends in real life is pretty much the most awesome thing ever! It’s like all the awkward “get to know you” stuff is out of the way already. You follow them online so you already know so much about them. All you are left with is the excitement of meeting someone you know you are going to love. Sharing a room with Moorea, Chelsey Whitney and Morgan was by far one of my most favorite parts of this trip. I also got to meet Lesley and oh man! I wish we lived closer. She was so wonderful, I knew we would be fast friends! These women inspire me in so many ways. Really, ALL the ladies I meet this weekend left a mark.
It was a whirlwind of a trip that’s for sure. It’s always hard being away from Kev and the girls but I came home feeling reenergized and so blessed by so many wonderful friendships. If you haven’t been to a blogger meet up or conference I would totally suggest trying it out.
p.s. it was an extra special bonus to be there along side Susan as we all watched her hard work pay off on Shark Tank. What a super fun party! So many congrats and jump high fives to such an awesome kick ass lady. Like I said on instagram, there may be lots of knock offs out there BUT there will only ever be ONE Freshly Picked.
(All pictures that don’t look they are from an iphone were taken from the Alt Flickr. Thanks to the photographers who captured such great moments through out the conference!)