Of course, by now we all know the change of events in our lives, and instead of worrying about starting school a few days late, I now have to worry about managing the kids and dog solo while Matt is in Iraq for the next 49 weeks. Though I digress... so let's get back to my weekend in New York City.
As I sit here, attempting to sum it up in a paragraph or two, I struggle with my loss for words. Which probably isn't something to admit after returning from a blogging conference where I should have found my voice. The irony is that despite the ideas and experiences rolling around in my head for the past few days, I don't think that I can in any way remotely articulate what and why attending BlogHer meant to me. So let me try to sum it up in one word: Community.
Long before I began connecting with the other State Department bloggers, where by sheer happenstance it's easy to find commonalities, I slowly began discovering blogs that interested me. Blogs about sewing... photography... travel... mom blogs... humor blogs... mens blogs. You name it, I probably read it. Some resonated with me and I still read them today. Others took paths that no longer kept my interest. But over the years I've spent an awful lot of time searching. And reading. And devouring. Their words. Their style. Their lives.
This blogosphere, online community, if you will, has helped mold and shape me and my blog since I took "The Perlman Update" public 3 1/2 years ago. These bloggers, along with my family and friends, have really helped encourage and support me throughout the years as ... we moved from Israel to India to California, I underwent all the medical procedures, during my pregnancy with Grady, the packing, the moving, the vacations, the vomit, and most recently, Matt's unaccompanied tour.
So again you ask, how does one put into words meeting these ladies after SO many years of
The conference more than paid for itself with the two photography sessions that I went to... listening to the community keynotes where I laughed until my sides hurt and cried the ugly tears ... AND most importantly, from the friendships I made. I went to the conference having met absolutely no one in person, and left there with a few really solid girlfriends I know I'll be in touch with outside of blogging. The hardest part for me was just getting out of my comfort zone... though once I psyched myself up to introduce myself to people (many of whom I'll admit I'd been dying to meet), it became easy. And fun. And filled with fantastic memories.
There's so much more I could say about the weekend. So many more people to recognize. And thank. And I WILL when I do a recap of the things I learned. But for now, here's a peek into my forty eight hours in NYC.
Doesn't everybody have a picture of themselves and Bruce Jenner at a blogging convention?
L to R: Me and my roommate Christy, Me and Pauline, and Christy, Me, and Loukia
Left: In Times Square with Amy, Pauline, me, Stacey
Right: At lunch with ... ladies I ALWAYS wanted to meet...
Back: Scarymommy, me, Carolyn Online, Twenty-four at heart,
Momo Fali, Bitchinwivesclub, Annsrants, San Diego Momma
Front: Vodkamom, OHmommy, Is There Any Mommy Out There, wendiaarons, Heather of the EO, and PostPicketFence
Left: Kate, Christy, Anna (The ladies who made it ALL worth attending)
Right: Christy, Kari, Issa, and me