Last week, I forked over a few bucks for 250 Love Them Madly business cards. Uneasy about treating my blogging as something akin to a career, I tucked the little box of cards in my rolling suitcase amid dresses and quasi-comfortable shoes without showing my husband. To counter the ridiculousness of getting ready for a blogging conference, I profusely thanked Scott, my friend Stacey, my mother-in-law, my dad and babysitter for taking over my carpooling/cooking/tucking-in/mommy-ing duties for three days.
I reliably have counted on my sons to be my alarm clock for 99% of my wake-ups over the last six years, so I barely slept Wednesday night, out of distrust for both my iPhone’s alarm function and my alarm-setting abilities. In the wee hours, I showered and slipped out of the house and onto Metro-North bound for NYC.
Nothing legitimizes blogging more than spending a day at a “Blography” (Blog Photography) class and the next two at a BlogHer conference. Two posts or five posts a week, paid or unpaid – no matter; I’m a blogger. Along with about 4 million other moms in America. 4 million. I know. It’s a wild number. So wild that President Obama addressed the 4,500 conference attendees via live video feed to discuss the election. Martha Stewart spent an hour of her birthday speaking to us, endearingly perfect (“Blooper reels are great. I wish I had more of them.”). And Katie Couric (adorably promoting her new show Katie), Christy Turlington Burns (advocating for maternal health as founder of Every Mother Counts), Malaak Compton-Rock (urging all to “pay your rent for living with service” as she does with her Angel Rock Foundation) and Soledad O’Brien (promoting Christy and Malaak and social responsibility) all interrupted their summer weekends to share their business and philanthropic platforms with the women of BlogHer ’12.
And there are certainly a lot of companies that feel women bloggers are important enough to want to make an impression. In prepping for the conference, I heeded bloggers who said business cards were mandatory and listened to my sister when she told me to wear fun necklaces. I had every intention not to be a “swag hag” who showed up at writing labs and blog audits weighed down by product samples and literature. I did not want to be the person trying random products just because they were free.
My medicine cabinets are fully stocked, thanks to Walgreens, Pfizer, CVS and Oral-B. Ditto; pantry, bookshelves, junk drawer. I am sporting a Zicam charm bracelet (thank you Kim for dragging me from the booth as I wrestled among mothering, homemaking, cooking, blogging, photography,traveling, running and teaching charms), to remind me of the four most important jobs I must stay healthy to accomplish.
I am now considering becoming a full time conference attendee with a swag re-sale business. Check out Love U Madly‘s mild mocking/admiration of my methods (and the delicious post-swag meal she made me).
Mrs. Love U Madly had a bit of fun herself.
I’m hoping to really start understanding my camera when it returns from Nikon (or morphs into a new Nikon) and put into practice the many excellent lessons on writing and storytelling I learned from some very fabulous bloggers this week.
And now a little swag for you: check out the website/free app Wonderopolis from the National Center for Family Literacy, sponsored by Verizon Wireless. Each day, families can share an offbeat little wonder of the world. Click below to see yesterday’s wonder and check out the site. You’ll see Wonderopolis answers the question well, and folds in a bit more. In yesterday’s wonder (below), the site opens a discussion on fears, rational and not, and a list of words related to the day’s wonder. Great conversation starters whenever you find downtime. I’m excited to have found another learning tool to share with my kids during car time, waiting time and maybe even, meal time.