Monday, September 12, 2011

Minnesota Blogger Conference and Blue Hair

So Miss Harper Moo and I attended the Minnesota Blogger Conference on Saturday. Wait, I should back up a little...

Harper and I drove to the Twin Cities on Friday night before the Minnesota Blogger Conference. Jen from Life With Levi had a 'pre-conference' gathering. I'm just going to admit it right here. I have no sense of direction. NONE. Nada. And because of this? Harper and I got lost. WAY lost. Driving around for 2 1/2 hours lost.

Why didn't I just call Jen you say? Or perhaps why not call my husband? Or use that fancy smartphone I am always bragging about to get directions? Because it turns out that my car charger doesn't work and my battery went dead as can be. So here I am, the little country mouse, driving around the BIG CITY with Harper screaming her guts out in the back seat. I eventually gave up and stopped at the house that looked the safest and asked to use their phone. Luckily, the man who answered the door was not a serial killer...or if he was I wasn't his type. It could also be that Harper looked at him with her little tear-stained face and grinned and flirted like crazy. Maybe he just had pity on us. Either way, I got in touch with my husband, who called Jen, who came and got me.

When we finally got to Jen's house, I was exhausted. Harper, on the other hand, had just taken about a two hour nap so she was ready to PARTAY and was up past midnight. Jen hooked me up with a (much needed) glass of wine and the girls at the gathering gave me TONS of sympathy and some chocolate which was PERFECT. We watched Bridesmaids, which was absolutely hilarious in a "I might wet myself from laughing" and "OH MY GOSH THIS IS SO INAPPROPRIATE" kind of way. After the movie, the last of the partiers left and Jen and I chatted a bit then went to sleep.

Jen, Harper and I got up, showered and headed out to the conference. We missed the keynote but got to go to Caribou Coffee in the venue without there being a big line (which apparently was a big deal). After snarfing down some food, Jen and I split up and went to different sessions.

Pic by Teresa Boardman
First up was Paul DeBettignies, who spoke about Power Networking. I'm not sure what was more fantastic, the session or watching him fall completely head over heels in love with Harper. He is gifted with babies AND drawing us out of our comfort zone so that we could get to know one another and showed us that networking opportunities are everywhere.

For our second session, we attended the panel on Building Communities Online and Offline, which consisted of Jen Emmert, Meghan Wilker, Ian Schwartz and Stephanie Meyer and was moderated by Kate O'Reilly. I got to hear about how Jen developed her community during her weight loss journey but then Harper needed a break so we wandered around the halls a bit.

During our hallway meandering, we ran into Mandy Dwyer of Glimpses of Soul Photography. She asked Harper if she would be interested in modeling for a bit and of course Harper said yes. That girl can't stay away from a camera! Mandy was as sweet as sugar and I'm hoping we run into each other again soon. Miss Harper might want to hire her for her One Year pictures...

Pic by Beth Rubin-Gabor
After hanging with Mandy, Harper went into her ring sling and we went to have lunch. That taco bar? Oh Em Gee was it good! I was as pleased as punch to meet some new friends and catch up with a few people I already knew. Harper FINALLY decided to take a nap, Carrie was kind enough to let me use her phone charger and I got to relax for a bit.

Once lunch was over, we went to see Kate Hopper speak about "Making Your Writing Sing". Oh my was she amazing. I actually stood up and shared one of the writing exercises she had us do and kind of amazed myself with the image I was able to paint in such a short time.

The last session was about "Moving Your Blog to Wordpress", something I've been considering for awhile. I learned a ton of info and it really has me thinking about making the plunge. Tim Elliot was very knowledgeable and I'm glad I attended this session.

It was a fantastic day and I cannot even list all of the people I was so glad to finally meet in person or this post will be way too long. Kudos to Missy, Arik, Suzi, Beth, Bridget, and Josh for planning and executing such a fantastic event.

...and thank you very much to Jen, who hugged me and dried my embarrassed and stress-filled tears and got me safely to her house on Friday. You are a true friend. I mean it.

Pic by *snort*
I made the (much shorter) drive home with a sleeping Harper in the back seat. Rather than just going to bed, as I was tempted to do, I made good on a deal that I'd made my friend Cristi. You might remember that she did a guest post on MinnesotaJoY not long ago. I told Cristi if she reached her goal for fundraising for suicide prevention and dyed her hair blue that I would put blue streaks in my hair too. I do what I can to keep my promises. :)

If you would like to make a donation to support Cristi, who is spreading awareness on behalf of her friend Dina who was lost to suicide in December, please do so. There are a bunch of other bloggers who have jumped into the #bluebloggers movement (I was so totally NOT the first one) and can't wait to see how many of us end up sporting some blue by the time this is over!  :)

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Zeeke75 said...

Glad you had fun. We'll have to work on the Wordpress thing when life slows down a little bit (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA). Love you!

Missy @ Marketing Mama said...

Considering you were pregnant with that little one last year at the MN Blogger Conference, it was only appropriate she attend again. :)

Glad you had such a great time. Super happy you made it! xo

kate hopper said...

Jo, it was so great to see you and little Harper. Thank you for your kind words! Your writing was amazing (and I'm still so impressed that you did on a phone while holding a baby!) You rock!