Monday, October 29, 2012

Notes on Allume

It's Saturday night, I have spent the last three days meeting wonderful women and hearing powerful messages and learning so much.  I am still trying to process it all.  

Jason has taken the girls to Hershey Park and we are watching Hurricane Sandy and have changed our plans and decided to head home tomorrow to beat the storm.  I am afraid I may be without power for a couple of days and I really wanted to fulfill my 31 Days series.

I learned so much this weekend.  I can't even put it all into words.  I am sure I will be processing it over the next couple of weeks... months.

One of the most powerful messages of this weekend was making time for family.  Making time for your life outside of the blog world.  Making time for rest. 

First of all, I will be honest, I am a complete and total introvert and Allume was overwhelming...there were a LOT of people.  Everyone was really nice.  Since almost everyone is a blogger, you already have a conversation starter.  For those of you who have never been to a blog conference, if you go to one, order business cards for your blog and carry them around in the little pouch with your nametag.  It's really easy to hand out that way.

  • I learned about the power of email and making connections...and eating mud cake without a fork from Darren Rowse of Pro Blogger.
  • I learned about the benefits of from Erin Ullrich.
  • I learned about registering your own name as a domain from both Erin Ullrich and Stephanie Bryant.
  • I learned about branding and creating a platform.
  • I learned from the Nester to schedule time for rest into your day.  I learned that what may be a full schedule for one person may not be for another, but that it's okay to say no to things.
  • I shared a meal with The Nester and learned that she is shy and very funny and nice.
  • I learned that Darren Rowse, despite all his success as ProBlogger, is incredibly humble.
  • I learned from Tsh Oxenreider that people read blogs to get personal stories and insight into someone else's life...if they wanted impersonal how-to's they would read online magazines.
I wanted to do this 31 Days series and I wanted to stick it out...but it didn't feel right to me.  It felt more like I was writing articles for a magazine.  I want to work on that.  I struggle with a focus on my blog.  We homeschool and we do a lot of DIY projects and we do a lot of stuff with our kids and our family and we love to cook...but that is so all over the place.  I also learned that you should write for the readers you have and not write to attract more readers.

I was excited to attend this conference, but as it grew closer I got nervous.   Who did I think I was to attend a blog conference?  I am just a tiny little family blogger.  I always feel like everyone else has their act more together than I of the most powerful messages at this conference was that most people feel that way...even BIG fancy famous people feel that way.  Even big fancy people sometimes compare themselves to others and feel they fall short.  

Ann Voskamp spoke right to my heart on this.  It was the last night of the conference and she lead us on such a powerful journey and she encouraged us to love everyone, be peacemakers and acknowledge that we are all broken.  It was so powerful I was literally shaking afterwards.

One of the most awesome and amazing parts of attending a blog conference is getting to meet face-to-face with other bloggers whose blogs you read and even though you may have skyped or g-chatted and emailed them, meeting them face-to-face and getting to hug them and hold onto them is so powerful and awesome.  I was so blessed to share meals and pray with and hug so many bloggers that have touched my heart and my life and my family.

As for being the MOM that I WANT TO BE...I was glad that my family came to this conference with me.  It made my heart soar to go up to my room, grab my girls and make funny faces in the SmileBooth with them.  I loved that my girls got to go to the Lounge with me and have dessert and meet other bloggers--some of whom they are in awe of.  I am glad that my girls got to see women networking and working together and what a conference is like.  I am also so glad that they had a blast at the Whitaker Science Center checking out a Hurricane simulation and the set of "Julie and Julia".  I love that they got to trick-or-treat in their costumes at Hershey Park and ride the Chocolate World ride and bumper cars and came back to the room tonight eager to fill me in and hear about my day.  I am feeling blessed.