I know the title sounds like the beginning of a joke…but I don’t have a witty line to follow it with…except, if an introvert takes a baby to a conference, she might be losing her mind.
A week and a half ago, I packed Andy and myself up and we hit the road to Pennsylvania to attend the Allume Women’s Blogging Conference. I got to ride with Creating Naturally and The Humbled Homemaker and it’s a good thing too, or otherwise I wouldn’t have left the house.
See, I didn’t want to go. I like being at home…I don’t go ANYWHERE without Barry. Okay, so I go to the grocery and the bathroom, but I don’t go on trips without Barry. Why? Well, because I’m an introvert and he’s not – so I can hide behind him and feel safe. Also, he’s just good at traveling and I’m not – I’m secure with him. I felt like I was traveling naked to this place…and I am not a nudist.
I got bullied into the trip by Barry and my blogging friends. Barry thought I needed to get out of my comfort zone…and my blogging friends just wanted us all to be together. See, I’m a member of an online group of wonderful blogging women. We’ve been “together” for over a year now and this was a chance for us to all meet in real life. It wasn’t something I wanted to miss…so after I was cajoled and bossed around, I bought a ticket. I’m a pushover.
My ticket and trip were sponsored by More Than Alive.
Mindy (Creating Naturally) and Erin (The Humbled Homemaker) came to my house the night before we left and spent the night – we wanted to leave early because we had TWO newborns in the car with us and a long drive. We made the long trek to Pennsylvania and we had a great time.
When we got there, I got to meet all my girls in real life…and it was AMAZING! Even though we had only been friends online, we knew each other. It was as though we had all just seen each other yesterday – we knew each other online – and now we got to see each other IN REAL LIFE. It rocked my face off. I knew they loved me already, so I didn’t have to worry about making a complete idiot of myself – because if I did, they would just expect it.
Anne from Authentic Simplicity is a kindred spirit. She’s just as wonderful and rockin’ in life as she is on her website. She’s a genius…and she laughs at me – which gives her extra points. I knew her the second I saw her…an instant real life friend.
Erin from The Humbled Homemaker is a true blue friend. She’s always there when I need her–whether I’m spouting off about something that made me mad or if I’m needing a pick me up because someone has been mean. She’s the social butterfly of our group…and we need her. She stretches us beyond ourselves.
Leigh Ann and Nikki are our group “bouncers.” If we’re doing something wrong or just need a reality check, we can count on these two girls to get us back in line. Leigh Ann blogs at Intentional by Grace and you’ll be truly blessed by her blog. She and God are tight, yo. I love Leigh Ann like a sister…she and I have very similar personalities. I just think she’s great! And she loves to hug. She’s a hugging ninja.
Nikki blogs at Christian Mommy Blogger. There is just something about her that makes me smile. She’s absolutely beautiful from the inside out. She’s a blogging genius! When I saw her for the first time, I squealed. I’m blessed to know her.
Jami blogs at The Young Wife’s Guide and she’s the only one who threw me for a loop. I expected her to be shorter and very timid. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was very tall and not timid at all! She always has something funny to say and we were never bored when she was around. I loved her! Even if she did put her foot in my chocolate rice krispie treat.
Rachel blogs at Day2Day Joys and she missed her calling as a model. She’s one of the prettiest ladies I’ve ever seen – her joy shines from the inside out. She always, ALWAYS has something nice to say…I want to be more like her.
This is Mindy from Creating Naturally. She let me ride with her…and she didn’t even mind when I had to keep stopping to feed. Mindy is so gentle – Andy loved her. When I needed a baby holding break, Mindy was right there for me. She’s dependable. And in this world, that’s hard to find. She’s a gem.
I learned a lot at Allume. I learned that crowds are definitely not for me. I learned how to make my blog grow, how to do my best, how to allocate tasks, and how to make sure my family doesn’t fall out of my priority list. But what I think was the most important thing I took away was this:
Online friends are awesome – but when you can meet in real life, talk to each other, laugh together, eat chocolate, and stay up until 1am, there is no better thing. It’s priceless…and worth more than money can buy.
Meet your online friends (unless they’re stalkers, then stay away). You’ll be glad you did.