That’s what my new bloggy friends found out about me this weekend. Unless you just stumbled upon my blog within the last 24 hours, you probably know that I attended the She Speaks conference this weekend, hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I recapped Day One here.
In case you’re wondering what She Speaks is all about, it is primarily a conference for women who aspire to be inspirational speakers and writers. But this year the Proverbs 31 gang decided to add a few sessions for bloggers, and they brought in three of my very favorite bloggers to lead these sessions — Shannon, Melanie, and Sophie.
I have been reading and commenting on these women’s blogs for almost as long as they have been in existence. (The blogs, not the women, but you knew that’s what I meant.) We have shared occasional emails behind the scenes, and Shannon has been an incredible mentor to me throughout my short bloggy career, but this was the first time I’ve ever actually MET any of them. And let me tell you, they are as gracious and fun in person as they are on their blogs.
Here is a photo of me with Shannon and Melanie on the first night of the conference.
Day two provided opportunities to meet many more fabulous bloggers, some that I’ve read and admired for some time, and others that I’ve discovered more recently. After the conference sessions were over on Saturday, I found myself hanging out with a group of bloggers in the lobby. That’s when I met DeeDee from It Coulda’ Been Worse and Tina from Antique Mommy, both bloggers that I’ve read and enjoyed over the past couple of years. I also met Annie from Taking a step towards my dream, who I had never come across before, but now I intend to follow. She says, as a stalker about to devour her prey…
Naw, y’all know I’m just kiddin’. I’m harmless. Unless you are sitting too close to me when I get overly-excited and squeal in your ear at an inhumane decibel, like poor Shannon experienced last night. Now THAT could cause some damage.
I finally met Janel, one of my good blogging buddies. Hers was one of the first blogs I designed, although we were friends long before that. Here we are, just before saying our good-byes this afternoon.
Karla is another long-time blogging buddy that I finally got to meet this weekend. We happened to run into each other at the mall on Friday and shared lunch together, which was such a blessing because we hardly saw each other the rest of the weekend. Today I grabbed her for a picture before we all left for home. I wish we’d had more time to spend together but it was a busy weekend.
Another highlight of my trip was meeting Shari Braendel. I have been following her blog, A Beautiful Place, and soaking up her fashion advice ever since I won a contest on her blog back in the winter. The other reason I wanted to attend She Speaks (aside from the blogging sessions) was to meet Shari and sit in on her What Not To Wear demonstration. But when it came time to select my conference sessions, I discovered to my horror that Shari’s WNTW was scheduled at the same time as the Blogging Q&A session.
After much deliberation, I signed up for the blogging session, but I was still lamenting the fact that I’d had to make a choice. The WNTW session was sold out, but somehow Shari managed to finagle me a ticket, which opened up the can o’ worms all over again and forced me once again to make a choice. I had been to two blogging sessions already, and my newfound friend LisaB was trying convinced me to join her at WNTW, suggesting that we purchase the audio recording of the blogging session so we wouldn’t totally miss out.
Before the sessions were to begin, I actually prayed a little prayer that went something like this, “Lord, I’m so conflicted, and I know that which session I attend is really of very little importance in the grand scheme of things, but if you could just SHOW ME WHAT TO DO, then I can stop stressing about this, and that would be really helpful, thanks.” And I felt a little silly because does God REALLY care about such minute details of my life when there are kids, you know, starving in Africa?
Well, would you believe that about five minutes later, I was walking past the What Not To Wear session room when Shari Braendel just so happened to be coming out of the room across the hall. She grabbed me and said, “Did you get your ticket?”
Startled, I said the only thing that I possibly COULD say, which was, “Yes! I did! Thank you! I-I-I’ll see you THERE!”
And with that, my decision was made, and I looked heavenward and declared, “Alrighty then. Thanks, God.”
I had an absolute blast in the What Not To Wear session. Shari is a fabulous speaker, and she gets the audience participating which is much more fun that listening to a presenter speak for 60 minutes straight. And I even learned a few little tricks along the way that I will share with you.
First, did you know that your sleeve length is an important factor to consider in dressing for your figure? If you do NOT want to call attention to your, ahem, large chest area, then you should avoid short sleeves. A 3/4-length sleeve or even a long sleeve is more flattering. If, on the other hand, you prefer to draw attention away from a wide hip, then long sleeves are not a good length for you. The 3/4-length sleeve would be better.
And also, you know how belted dresses come with those little threads for belt loops? Those are not intended to be a permanent part of the dress. They are simply there so the belt stays in place in the store. But when you bring such a dress home, you want to cut off those loops so your belt will sit on your actual waist, not where the dress manufacturer placed the belt loops.
See what marvelous things you can learn at a speaking and writing conference?
Here is a picture of Shari and me this afternoon, right before I took off for home.
There were so many more interesting people that I met, and I hate to leave anyone out, but this recap is getting looooong, and I have certain family members who are very excited about going to the beach in the morning. And it might be nice if I started packing before midnight tonight.
So on that note, I’ll close. The other bloggers on the trip took more pictures than I did, and I am anxious to see what they post over the next few days. Robin at Pensieve, and my roommate for the weekend (we had a BLAST together; she is an absolute sweetheart and loads of fun) has a Mr. Linky on her blog for anyone who attended the conference to link up their recaps. Be sure to check it out, and link in if you were on the trip.
Ooooh, here’s one more — a group shot!
Be sure to check back later this week. Even though I’ll be at the beach, I have guest bloggers posting throughout the week, and I have an awesome giveaway scheduled for tomorrow.