The Mom 2.0 Summit. Or, the one where I say thank you 172 times.
That's how I felt all weekend long at the Mom 2.0 summit.
I might have been exhausted at times, socially anxious at times, and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. But I also felt inspired, motivated, psychically nourished, and very, very me.
I need to thank everyone who contributed to this feeling, because I want to feel it all the time.
In other words, the people here? They are the opiates of the mom blogging world.
Thank you to my co-panelists Maggie Mason and Erin Loechner who were incredibly forthcoming with their advice on how to pitch potential brand partners. I was so busy reaping their wisdom on that panel, I sometimes forgot I could jump in and speak too.
Thank you to Morra Aarons, Emily McKhann, Jen Singer, Roxanna Sarmiento, Polly Pagenhart, Loralee Choate, Rita Arens, Lindsay Maines, Audrey McClelland, Laurie Smithwick, Colleen Padilla, Cecily Kellogg, Renee J Ross, Kari Dahlen, Dina Freeman, The Rookie Moms, Lindsay Ferrier, Miss Yvonne, Mir, Beth Blecherman, Kelcey and Marinka, who make me smile just by seeing them, even if we didn't spend enough time together.
Thank you to Chef John Besh, Zatarain's, and the cast and crew of Domenica whose most excellent peach bellinis, savory beignets, and pork a la everything made me swear off eating ever again for life; a promise which lasted for a whole 90 minutes. Also? Thanks to homemade limoncello.
An extra big thank you to Eden Kennedy and Alice Bradley, whose writerly advice on their panel has stayed with me for days now. Key takeaways:
- Stop procrastinating and write.
- The more you write, the better you get.
- "Don't make average things for average people."
- -John Updike has psoriasis.
Thank you to Almond Accents and the Zone Bars provided by Similac for saving me from blood sugar crashes around 3PM each day.
Thank you to fellow Saturday night benefit readers Doug, Kyran, Meagan, Jenny, Heather and the rest, who make me want to be better writers. And to the team at Tide Loads of Hope for doing what you do. My reading, silly as it was, was dedicated to the schoolchildren in Haiti that my daughter's kindergarten has adopted, the ones who probably don't get to eat all day if they can't make it to school. I'm glad they are not forgotten.
Thank you to Gabrielle Blair who cited Cool Mom Picks in her panel as her example of a nicely designed blog. This is kind of like Woody Allen telling you your joke was funny. Or Charlie Sheen telling you your crack was good.
Thank you to Elizabeth's for the Praline Bacon.
No, seriously. Thank you.
Thanks to all the savvy business minds who can make a gal smarter simply by standing next to them. I'm talking to you, Shelly Kramer, Erica Diamond, Stephanie Smirnov, Susan Getgood, Stephanie Schwab, Adam Keats, Caleb Gardner.
Thank you to Anissa Mayhew for not flinching when I called her high-maintenance, what with those crazy glasses of hers. Wheelchair or not, she could totally kick my ass.
Thank you for the kindness and deep abiding friendship of Julie Marsh, Kristen Chase, Isabel Kallman, Anna Fader, Karen Gerwin, Stacey Morrison, Megan Francis, Catherine Connors, Asha Dornfest and her husband Rael, who is Nate's new boyfriend. Meaning Asha and I now need to move to Utah and create an alternative family arrangement.
Thank you to new friend Jyl Johnson Pattee who evidently said something nice about my post The Unspoken Truths of Mothers on Top in her panel about influencers, which I'm sad to have missed. (Not just because she mentioned me; but because I heard it was a great panel.) When posts that mean something to me mean something to someone else too, that may be the greatest writing reward of all.
Thank you to Delta Airlines for putting the chick with her bare feet up on the seat in front of her behind Kristen, and not me. For the first time ever, the last row of the plane was preferable to the first.
And of course, thank you for Laura Mayes and her team for putting on one hell of a conference; the only one I've been to with brilliant panels, wonderful social events, and Greek feta-almond bruschetta. Don't ever hold it at a discount hotel chain or skimp on the food. And that's all I'll say about that.
(And I totally know I'm forgetting a zillion people. If you saved me a seat, or smiled at me from my panel, or hugged me tight, or didn't make fun of my hair at any point during the weekend then I thank you too.)
I've often said that you can judge where you are in your life by looking at the people who surround you.
Right now, I feel like I am surrounded by amazing.