This weekend my husband and I got up early on Saturday morning and drove to Newport Beach, California, so I could attend the Elevate Blog Conference. Hubby was along for the ride…and the beach…and the day to himself!
I managed to get about two and a half hours of sleep the night before (pregnancy insomnia is not fun) and maybe another hour in the car on the way there, so I was not exactly well-rested, but that didn’t even matter. Once the day began, it was so packed with fun, friends, and activities, that I forgot about being tired!
As soon as I got there I checked in, got my name tag and swag bag (oh yeah we’ll talk about that a little bit later!), and I went around the corner to where the tables were set up outside and bloggers were mingling. It took maybe .3 seconds before my girl Megan was running to me with open arms. Definitely the perfect welcome to the event! It was so awesome to meet one of my favorite bloggers in person, and she is just adorable.
Shortly thereafter I found Kristine. It was a relief to not have to introduce myself to these girls- they recognized me! I had planned on making a beeline for Kristine first thing because, well, #browngirliseasytofind. ;) I spent a good amount of time chatting with Kristine throughout the day, and she is just as sweet and as much fun as you’d expect from reading her blog. Definitely the life of the party.
The day was the perfect mix of activities: crafts, a service project, games, networking, speakers, and food! I thoroughly enjoyed everything we did.
One of the highlights for me was when Nay of coffee-n-ink glanced at my nametag and said, “Oh I know you!” Yeah…if you’re a blogger you understand. Another blogger said, “I know you; you know Megan Robinson!” So, famous by association, I’ll take that too!
Another highlight for me was hearing Ashley (Little Miss Momma) speak at the end of the day. She had a lot of concrete thoughts and wisdom to impart that I think will help me improve my own blogging.
And um, I also got to meet and chat with this lovely lady who I think you will recognize:
Yeah, several times during the day I would look over and think, “Wow, Erin from Living in Yellow is just hanging out with us. I should probably go make her some mac and cheese or something.”
So shall we talk about the swag? Not only did each of us receive a bag (thank you, Laura) jam-packed with goodies, but they also had a table filled with individual prizes- enough for everyone to win at least one prize! I won this adorable little guy from Bubba’s Basics, whom Carter has christened the “Tooth Hero!”
And since Carter got a present, I had to share some swag with Vanessa:
Bow from the Pink Elephant Bowtique
Here’s a shot of everything that was in my swag bag, not including the Nothing Bundt Cakes we received (and which Daniel and I demolished on the way home):
At the very end of the day we played some Minute To Win It games, and I’m happy to say that I was not only on the winning team, but I also won one of the individual challenges for my team! Go Blue!
On Sunday morning Daniel surprised me with an awesome Mother’s Day present, which deserves its own post, so I’ll save that for later. Then we headed to Huntington Beach where we lay in the sand, swam in the ocean, and ate lunch at a beachside cafe before heading home. We made it back to my parents’ place (where our kids were) just in time to eat pizza and watch the Survivor finale. I honestly cannot imagine a better way to spend Mother’s Day! Or any day really.
After getting back home I actually had a couple of rough days. I don’t know if it was the “after-event let down” or just being pregnant and miserable, or some combination, but I just felt kind of depressed. It did NOT help to see photos from the event where I was just horrified by how I looked. I mean, I know I’m almost 8 months pregnant and all, but so is Summer, and you saw her rocking those red skinnies! Anyway, I’ve just been down lately. I think things are looking up, but I’ll write more on that topic tomorrow!
In conclusion, I attended my first two blog conferences in the past month, and they couldn’t have been more different. Night and day. But both were amazing, and I love that they were totally different and that I got a completely unique experience out of each of them. I will get around to writing about the other one, and soon!
Thanks to the Elevate organizers, and to all of the bloggers who made the day fantastic. I wish I could have met and talked to everyone, but I will be checking out all of your blogs and following, for sure! Until next year, I guess!