Blissdom: It started with her.
On Tuesday, January 25th, I flew to Nashville to speak at and attend Blissdom, a Women’s Blogging Conference hosted by Allison Worthington, Barbara Jones, and Paula Bruno.
A few years ago, I was sitting in Alli’s kitchen, having coffee with her while my son was surreptitiously crayon-decorating her kitchen cabinet. We had several moments like this, two moms enjoying one another’s company, talking about motherhood, life, blogging, and dreaming of the future. These playdates were like therapy for me; each visit was a refill for my sanity. Girlfriends: Life’s Prettiest Meds.
Okay, maybe not always the prettiest. But definitely the most fun?
Back then she talked about wanting to do things on her website to help mothers, and women in general. Eventually, she shared that she dreamed of more than the blog; she wanted to go further, help more people, chase bigger dreams. During one of our visits, Alli asked me, “So, what do you want to do with your blog; what is your goal? You want to rule the Internet, right?” I didn’t have dreams of Internet Domination, though, and I said, “Well, no… I really just hope that people will read and enjoy my content.” Alli’s response? “Oh, no no no, honey. We have to build a Kindgom!” She made me laugh, but I could sense her drive.
That was Alli – big love, big dreams, big plans. Add in all her hard work, and it equals big success, and there she is now. I’m so proud of her, and so excited to see her dreams coming to fruition. She’s worked damn hard to make it from Mrs. Fussypants to co-hosting her own blogging conference, and she’s worked her arse off for it every step of the way. You know what she’s also done, every step of the way? She’s kept the love, the genuine caring, and the desire to help others and support women a core part of her agenda and personality.
I had to say all this before I even start talking about the specifics of my trip. I saw her, before all of this Blissdom stuff, as a mom and woman, a girlfriend, in her home. I talked to her on the phone about her dreams, plans, and eventually – progress, while we also gabbed about daily life and motherhood. As months and years danced past us, making our children older and our hairs a little grayer here and there, we’ve floated in and out of emails, twitter @’s and Skype conversations. Alli is a friend, and someone I trust.
I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “Is she really the nice person in real life that she seems online?” My answer is always Yes. Is she perfect? Nobody is perfect. Is she flawed? Of course she is, aren’t we all? She’s not a “mean girl” or a ruthless backstabber. Alli is a genuine, kind person, and I’ve never seen her as anything else. I’m glad her big dreams and hard work have paid off for her. Walking into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville on January 25th for the 3rd Blissdom Conference, I was excited about the week ahead, and, as always, proud of my former playdate partner and girlfriend.
In the coming week, I’ll post several photos from my trip (as well as some taken by others that show things I didn’t capture) and give you some of the highlights of the conference (from my experience), but I had to share this post first.
photo courtesy of Rachel at Southern Fairytale