Last week while I was on a plane I wrote a gushy post about everything that I was looking forward to once I arrived in Portland. The week before had been incredibly stressful, and I was determined to leave it in the past so I focused on what would make me happy. I scheduled it, but it never published. Oops! I scheduled a Friend Makin’ Mondays post (knowing that I’d still be in Portland on the following Monday,) and that published early. Oops! I had some technical issues last week, and I hope they’re resolved now. I suppose we’ll see in time, won’t we? 😉
Once I arrived in Portland, I didn’t spend much time blogging. I wrote a post for Fitbloggin.com, but apart from that, I enjoyed everything as it happened. I did a little tweeting, Facebook-ing and Instagram-ing, but I didn’t spend much time looking at my computer screen or my phone which is odd for me. I also managed to miss an entire week of news, and for this Anderson Cooper junkie, that’s unheard of!
As a blogger it’s easy to forget to live “in the now.” I often joke about my love for social media by saying “Why do it if you can’t take a picture of it and post it on your blog?” But being there last week and absorbing all of the experiences with old friends and new friends made me happy. I felt as though I had walked into a big hug when I arrived and that it continued throughout the conference. I knew that going would be a good thing, and it was a great thing.
I saw several friends that I haven’t seen in ages. I’m always happy to see Leslie and Jaason. They’re always at the top of my list. We dined at lovely 5-star restaurants, tasted various types of ice cream at Salt and Straw and spent time joking with each other, discussing life and other things. Meeting Leslie is easily the best thing that has come as a result of Fitbloggin, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve met so many wonderful people throughout the years.
I was also excited this year because my long-time friend, KeepItUpDavid, was going to be in attendance for the first time. It was hard to contain my excitement when I saw him…so I didn’t. I immediately began hugging him and gushing about how wonderful it was to see him again, and it was as awesome as I thought it would be. We got to spend some time outside of the conference too, and I’m so thankful that he was there.
I also made some new friends this year. I had met Leah (aka BookieBoo) at conferences in the past, but we enjoyed a night out on the town this year. I knew she’d love David too, and I was right. What’s not to love? 🙂 I also got to spend time with Meredith and Tasha (who took the photo above) as well.
After Friday morning’s 6 am boot camp, we stopped in to report the news. (No we didn’t.) We did get a cool tour of KGW’s studio though!
And after Zumba, I went to a session for those of us who have a lot to lose, and Emmie gave us flowers when we cried. Did a few ugly tears stop us from taking photos? Of course not!
I went to lunch with Lyn and enjoyed deep conversations about our lives – where they are, what we’d like to do differently, etc. It felt good to be so candid with someone who understands what’s inside my head, and I hope she’ll find her way to New Orleans sooner rather than later. (Hint, Hint Lyn!)
And what would Fitbloggin be without Martinus and Dre? These dudes crack me up, and I couldn’t even begin to describe how awesome they are if I tried. Martinus is the man. He knows how to sport a bow tie, but he’s just as comfortable in sneakers. His blog is almost a year old now, and I can’t really imagine what this community would be like without him. Take a minute to say hello to him and wish him a happy birthday. 🙂 And Dre just makes me smile every time I see him. What can I say? These guys are great…
I spent time with so many people who matter to me that I couldn’t possibly post pictures of all of them without driving myself crazy, but you get the idea. It was a great week in which I laughed, cried, learned, sweated, made new friends, kissed a cow and enjoyed being surrounded by people who “get” me.
There’s so much more I could say about last week, but I haven’t even made it home yet so I’m exhausted. After the conference ended I stuck around to see friends who lived in the area and didn’t attend Fitbloggin. I met my long-time web friend, Melissa, and I also met another friend (who will likely be at Fitbloggin in 2014, Emily.) Another friend who doesn’t live in the area drove in so we could spend some time together too, and that feeling I described above (like I walked into one big hug) lasted even after the conference was over.
I’ll return to New Orleans tomorrow just in time to celebrate the nation’s birthday, then mine (on Friday.) I have family visiting too which is something that I always look forward to. I have so much more to say about Fitbloggin and what I learned about myself last week, but I’ll need to some time to settle in before I collect my thoughts. I also have some work to do which will take priority for a bit when I get home.
The last ten days have been amazing, and I’m so thankful for the community of people that I was able to connect with once again. I’m already looking forward to next year, and can’t wait to paint the town with these people…in Nashville or Austin.