8.10.2010

What You May Not Be Able To Say In Words, Can Often Best Be Summed Up In Photos...

Seven months ago my friend Christy emailed me in India and asked me if I thought about attending BlogHer 2010 in New York City. Sure, I had thought about it, as I had done every year for the past three years, but I knew that with school starting in early August that I'd never be able to go. That is, until I started talking about it with Matt, and expressing how much I WANTED to go ... how much I NEEDED this conference, that we made the decision to keep the kids in the States an extra few weeks this summer before we headed back to India. And on February 28, mere minutes before the registration deadline, I paid my entrance fees and signed up for the two-day conference.

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 stalking, reading, commenting, communicating? You can't. So you put it in pictures... as you'll see below.

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

43 comments:

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Of course you know that meeting you was one of my FAVORITE parts of the weekend. I'm so excited for you to move here. In the meantime I'll continue to stalk you on Twitter.

Loukia said...

I was SO happy to meet you! You're just awesome. I am glad you came to BlogHer abd had a great time! I really want to go again next year! Great pics! I'll have to send you the one I have of us, too! :)

Scary Mommy said...

I loved, loved, loved meeting you!!! I'm so glad you were there- it wouldn't have been the same without you!

Jen said...

Glad you had such a great and enriching weekend, especially during a time like this! You know I certainly understand!

Kat said...

That is just awesome. So glad you had such a great experience! :)

Bfiles said...

how wonderful! You have been one of my own inspirations in blogging and I can't wait to meet some of the others who inspire you, having already fallen in love w Stacey! :) Glad you had such a great time.

Jen said...

I am so glad that you had an awesome time.

Jersey Beth said...

Ahhhhrrgg! So many links, so little time!! Must check them all out!
Glad you had fun. You deserve it!
Beth

DelhiBound said...

So glad you had a great time! Just stumbled this post .... one of the best recaps I've read (and my eyes are blurry from reading all of them)

Marinka said...

Oh, my heart sings to read this and look at the beautiful pictures. Yes, my heart and read and look.

OHmommy said...

Meeting you was one of my highlights.

BTW. To turn off wipers in LR3 you hit the wiper button forward. Sorry for bothering you.

Vodka Mom said...

the lunch was fantastic - as was the whole conference!!!!!!!


:-) You are amazing.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Lunch was GREAT! And it was wonderful meeting you. It really is all about making the personal connections!

San Diego Momma said...

I had such a great time getting to know you. Of course, there's so much more to be said and to share.
But, BlogHer was a start.

This is a wonderful update...I agree...sometimes pictures tell the whole story...but your words did a great job, too!

XO.

anymommy said...

I'll treasure my memories of this weekend with you, Kate, Anna, Kristy, Issa and Kari. Lunch was amazing. The time went so fast. Sob. I'm just going to focus on next year. And the fact that I can always visit you right here.

XO.

Emily said...

You had me at Bruce Jenner.

I have always wondered what it would be like to meet in person, the people I have come to know through blogs.
I am glad you had a good time.

CaraBee said...

I loved meeting you and love that you're moving to the DC area! You'll definitely have to come to the Momzshare events!!

So, was Bruce Jenner as freaky looking up close as he is from a distance? And can you see where his hair attaches? Cause, DAMN, time and too much plastic surgery have not been kind to him.

Ann Imig said...

Wish we'd had more time to chat, and so grateful that we met.

Great recap!

xo,
Ann

Andrea said...

I'm sorry we never met up! It was a crazy weekend wasn't it? My favorite part was just meeting people I'd been cyber-stalking for months :)

Nap Warden said...

SO glad I got to meet a hang with you at Blogher! One of the high points for sure:)

Christy said...

It goes without saying that rooming with you was the highlight of the conference for me! I'm so glad that we got along in person even better than we had online! It was an amazing weekend, and this is a fantastic post. Love your photos! Love you! Can't wait to room with you in San Diego next year!!!

Issas Crazy World said...

The linking....man it gets hard, huh? :)

I am so glad we met and even more glad that we got to spend more than just seconds together.

1615 said...

祝福大家開開心心。............................................................

黃智樺黃智樺 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

Mom24 said...

You deserved to have such a wonderful time. I hope it can sustain you for a long time.

Jorja said...

jill, just wanted to drop by and tell you how dear you and your gal pals were to me at blogher! i didn't know a soul and you four took me in from the moment you saw me wandering to mouthy housewives after just losing my wallet! you guys were great and great fun! i look forward to reading your blog...sounds like this could be a challenging year for you and your family! thanks again...jorja

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

I loved meeting you at BlogHer!!! What a whirlwind, though... I am still trying to piece together everything and figure out how I made it to all those different events. Next year I am scaling back my party schedule for more down time.

Riiiiiiiiiiight. ;)

Sara said...

What a great experience. Sounds like something every woman/mom blogger should attend. If only I could write half as well as you!

Headless Mom said...

I think you summed it up perfectly! Isn't it nice to find your voice, your tribe, and your sisters all in one place?

See when you return to SoCal!

WA said...

I would have loved to talk to you more, Jill, because you keep some amazing company. I'm sorry I didn't make it down to the other end of the pizza table, but Ann kept monopolizing me with stories about her impetigo.

And thanks for coming to the Mouthy party! We were so happy you could make it!

Wendi

Donna said...

So jealous! Of you for meeting them, and of them for meeting YOU!

Robin said...

Move where??? East Coast? So someday maybe we really WILL get to meet up!

I'm jealous that you all got to meet up and hang out in real life but there's no one who deserved this break more than you. So glad you had such a wonderful time.

xox

-----------------------------------
My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

I am Barking Mad said...

I'm so glad you went and had what looks like an amazing time and met some wonderful women!

Maybe next year I'll feel more up to going...maybe.

Audrey at Barking Mad!

Marinka said...

It was great to finally meet you. I think I'm the only one without a Bruce Jenner photo.

Sara said...

I'm so glad you had a good time and got to meet people in "real life." :)

Brooke said...

How fabulous! I'm so glad you did this!

mosey said...

I'm not sure either how we didn't meet! Next year? It was my first conference as well, and I spent time with my sister away from the venue, so I definitely missed out on some fabulous get-togethers.

Are you still in Northern CA? (it's where I am....)

Is Dis Normal or Dysfunctional? said...

Hello Jill,

I so enjoyed meeting you at The Mouthy Housewives party and am looking forward to catching up on all of your posts.

I only wish that we had a chance to connect more.

Oh well, I guess it will have to be online.

fancythatfancythis.com said...

Just found your blog and you are a superstar. I have no idea how you do it! With kids and your moves and work? I need to stop complaining!

bernthis said...

I could not agree with you more. Community is what I have found in the blog world and what I cherish. I'm so glad you went and had a good time.

Drunk Mummy said...

I'm a bit late to the party (as always) and I'm not sure I can blame jet lag 2 weeks after the event....however, I did just want to say that I really enjoyed meeting you at the Mouthy Housewives party. Maybe we'll catch up at San Diego next year!

Drunk Mummy said...

Sorry - DrunkMummy is me - Di at PowderRoomGraffiti!

mosey said...

Okay, WHERE the heck was Bruce Jenner?? Slowly catching up with your posts... still can't believe we were ships that (almost) passed in the night.... glad we got to meet later than sooner!

Blog Designed by: NW Designs