My BlogU14 Photo Album

This past weekend, I had the privilege of being a part of the BlogU conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This was the brain baby of Stephanie Giese of Binkies and Briefcases. She brought up the idea to a group of us. She said, "We could put together our own blog conference!" It sounded like a great idea, but the thought of it actually happening seemed very lofty.
She kept on it.
She was going to turn this into a reality.
And she did.
And it was awesome.
My little contribution was to be on a team with Tara of You Know It Happens At Your House, Too, Andrea of The Underachiever's Guide To Being A Domestic Goddess and Bethany of Bad Parenting Moments to present the Twitter portion of our social media course on Facebook and Twitter. (Those ladies know their Facebook!) I learned a lot from those ladies and from the other courses that I got to sneak into here and there.
The weekend was so fun on so many levels. I left feeling more knowledgeable, but, more than anything, I left feeling like these women I had connected with on-line (and many, many person at least once before) were actually real people. Real friends. Real people and friends that just happened to live far away from me. (The only other southerner in the bunch was Suzanne of Toulouse & Tonic. We compared accents because people kept mentioning that we had one. I like Suzanne's better than mine.)
Wanna see my slideshow?
Here I am with Karen Alpert of Baby Sideburns and Alicia Steffann of Naps Happen. We were there to sign books with a bunch of other ladies. (I wrote a chapter in the book I Just Want To  Pee Alone. These two ladies did, as well. Karen also wrote the book I Heart My Little A-Holes, which is kicking tail left and right at stores and on-line.)

Here I am with another lovely book signer, Stephanie of I'm Still Learning. Every time I talk to Stephanie, I feel like I have known her forever. She is so down-to-earth!

Alicia (from Naps Happen) and Jessica Watson of Four Plus An Angel joined me on the floor to listen to the welcome speech by the very funny Nicole of Nicole Leigh Shaw...Tyop Aretist and Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying. They rocked the moderator thing. We happily listened to Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat, Karen of Baby Sideburns and Susan of The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, the keynote speakers they introduced.

My roommates for the weekend were Jen from People I Want To Punch In The Throat and Kerry from HouseTalkn, here with me in this picture. Kerry and I must have been on the same wavelength, because we dressed alike the whole day on Saturday! Here we are in the morning...

...and here we are at night getting ready to go to the NickMom Prom! I have to say that we were in a third outfit before this one where we were dressed identically- white pants and our black faculty BlogU t-shirts. Kerry is something else. She is so genuine, so awesome, so funny and so giving. You need to check out all the wonderful stuff she's got going on for The She Said Project. So inspiring and beautiful...and fun!

The great thing about this blogging conference was its size. It was small on purpose. You could actually find someone that you wanted to talk with pretty easy. I was happy that I got to meet Caroline of Not Enough Wine. We talked blogging and other things, too. I now have a list of books I'd like for my son to read, thanks to her!

I would have to say, though, that my favorite part was definitely that NickMom Prom. I love NickMom. Ever since they e-mailed me back in 2011 to ask if I wanted to write for Nickelodeon, they have had a special place in my heart. I haven't been as prolific lately with creating pieces for them, but I'm going to change that this summer! I'm going to crank it out! They are just all-around awesome and they definitely proved it by sponsoring such a fun, fun "retro prom" night.

Here's my collection...

The lovely Brenna Jennings of Suburban Snapshots who went viral with her dancing video most definitely had the moves out on that BlogU dance floor!

Robin of Hollow Tree Ventures, Nicole of Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist, me and Kerry of HouseTalkn have got to be some of the funniest people on this planet.

I know it's not a great picture, has Adrienne Hedger in it, so I had to keep it! She is THE illustrator for NickMom and creates the funniest cartoons. She was lots of fun to meet in person, too!

Awww! It's Tara from You Know It Happens At Your House Too! She was my co-presenter at the Social Media course. She also has a really, really big crush on Johnny Depp. (I bet Johnny Depp would love her dance moves.)

Another co-presenter! This is Andrea from The Unofficial Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess. Andrea's face was the first familiar face I saw after landing in Baltimore. I already felt like I was another planet (it ain't like Texas up 'ar), so it was really nice to see someone really nice. Andrea is such a bright spot and such a friendly person. She had a lot of great Facebook tips! And she can get down, too!

Although I like this picture of me with Susan of The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva...

I love this one. When Susan gets into character, forget it. To me, she looks like her name should be Vera in this picture. Vera with her vino wearing her gold chinos. (They're not chinos, but "jumpsuit" didn't rhyme.)
The quality is AWFUL, but the people are in it are GOLD, so it balances out. Kristyn Pomranz has on the hoops and Kim Hohman is in the background. These ladies make it work for NickMom. They are sort of top dogs around there, at least they are in my eyes! Kristyn was the one who originally e-mailed me about the Nickelodeon opportunity. I used to send Kim a lot of material when she worked over at Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect. She's now, of course, with NickMom. I'm so glad that she stayed on the scene! We had so much fun that night! Thanks, NickMom!
It's Anna!! Anna and I were introduced by Gigi of Kludgy Mom a few years ago. We started a link-up called Finding The Funny and got to know each other through that. I think Anna is such an honest, funny, organized and smart person. She writes the blog, My Life & Kids. You've probably read it, but, if not, get to it!
It was wonderful meeting bloggers that were brand new to me, including Dear Baby XO. I just spent a few minutes looking through her Facebook page and being thoroughly entertained. We shared that, if we lived close to each other, we'd certainly want to hang out and take trips to Target together. Or something like that. She may not have said Target. She may have said "police station" because she was hinting that she'd try to get me thrown in the clanker.

After the lights came up as the NickMom prom was winding down, it only makes sense to find like-minded bloggers. I feel like Jenny from The Suburban Jungle and Kerry from HouseTalkn are just that. I seriously laugh EVERY time I look at this picture. All I had to do was suggest making "Fire Marshall Bill" lips and a millisecond later, they're making them, too. You didn't even have to try to convince them or give them a long tutorial! Or even a short tutorial! I felt like giving them both a big hug after that. Jenny is also a new blogger to me. I am SO glad I met her! She, as you can see, was lots of fun.
One of these ladies must've been asked to take a picture with my phone, because they still had it long enough for them to take some selfies. I didn't mind it, though, because now I have also have a picture of Kathy from Kissing The Frog (left)  and Anna from An Inch of Gray (center). Both of these ladies (pictured with the lovely Kerry!) write beautiful, beautiful blogs about their families. They both have lost a child. Kathy lost her Joey and Anna lost her Jack. Your heart will be pierced as you read their words. Your eyes will not be able to hold back the tears. I didn't realize this was Anna standing so close to me that night of the NickMom prom. I only realized it after seeing these pictures when I started looking through the pictures on my phone. I feel so blessed to have it. I feel so blessed to see their smiles in this picture and to see Anna's smile in the picture below, as she's joined by the other Anna.

At the end of the night, all of the BlogU faculty joined together to take a picture. Ilana from Mommy Shorts was talking to the DJ about something and couldn't hear us call her name until we all yelled it together. Here she is hooking it to get into the group picture. For some reason, I really love this picture!

Here is Ilana again, just without her royal blue retro prom gown.
It's Paige! It's Paige! It's Paige! Oh, how I love to read the things that Paige Kellerman writes. She is absolutely hysterical and makes me laugh all the time on her blog, on Twitter and while reading the book she wrote called At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles. She's the real funny deal, folks.

Just before we left, Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat (and also my roomie) had a little accident on our dorm room floor. Well, it looked like she did. Okay, I'll come clean. Karen from Baby Sideburns suggested that Jen squat over it, seeing as how Jen is the mastermind behind the I Just Want To Pee Alone anthology. Whew! It feels good to let the truth out.

There were tons more pictures that I would have liked to have taken. I did take more than these, but some of the quality was pretty awful. There were just so many really wonderful, fun and inspiring people there. As far as the faculty goes, I'm glad that I at least have this picture of us all in one place below. I hope that, especially after seeing these pictures, you are encouraged to get yourself to BlogU in 2015. It is definitely worth your time!

And, yes, even though she has a hurt foot, that would be Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying in the middle of the picture DOING THE SPLITS.