Ok so I’m back from my LAST trip before baby (I think I’ve said that three different times now, but for real, this is it). I traveled to Pasadena, CA for the Mom 2.0 Summit. It’s a blog conference for women and moms, and I’ve been going for three years now. Last year I was nominated for and won the Best Photography Iris Award, and if you keep up with my comings and going on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen that I won Mom Blog of the Year (holy crap!). But more on that later this week. I have a whole big spiel to go on just about that and this post got long enough.
Today I’m going to share a bit about what else went down last week. Six things to be exact (aside from the one mentioned above), that made Mom 2.0 2018 absolutely fantastic.
1. I roomed with LaShawn from Everyday Eye Candy. We roomed together at our first Mom 2.0 and did a session together on photography. She’s such a treat. I had all these plans to go to the spa and hang out by the pool but I wound up just crashing on the bed for midday naps, and catching up with her throughout the trip. We chat all the time via text and messenger but it’s always nice to spend time together in person. If you haven’t checked her out yet DO!
2. One of the really cool things about these conferences is getting a chance to connect with friends and brands that you buy, or interact with over email, finally in person. One meeting I totally wasn’t expecting was with my Canon rep. Meredith saw me at the opening party and said hi. It was getting close to my bedtime so it took a second for it to click then I was all “HIIIIII!” I’m so glad she came, and I hope that they bring a whole slew of people to the conference next year because I know moms and bloggers alike would just eat them all up.
3. Dove returned as a title sponsor for Mom 2.0, and having partnered with them in the past, it was great to see the strides they’ve made, and their initiatives continue to flourish. A sobering statistic: 8 out of 10 girls with low body confidence will opt out of important activities. Since 2004 the Dove Self-Esteem project and has helped more than 20 million young people. Graduates from the project are turning around and helping others! It’s pretty awesome. One statistic that stuck out to me is that experts say spending just an hour talking to a girl about beauty, confidence and self-esteem can change the way she sees herself for a lifetime. Just an hour. I want to get in on this. You can read all about it and find more on the videos here: www.Dove.com/HourWithHer. I was able to go to a workshop and learn more about the initiative and how the power of words we not only hear, but see, influence us. And we talked about rewriting our negative stories we remember from growing up into positive ones.
And then the next day I had a delicious breakfast with a group of beautiful multicultural moms hosted by Baby Dove and we talked about the struggles we experience with our kids whether it being trying to raise them to be bilingual, or the worries if we are teaching them “enough” about their backgrounds. It was great food for my belly and soul. I even got some Baby Dove swag with products with Sneaky’s potential name on it (I actually got two with different name options but someone else snagged the first so maybe it’s a sign that it’s not the right name).
4. Debbie Allen was one of the keynote speakers and I know she’s done a bajillion amazing things in her life but I absolutely love her on Grey’s Anatomy. She sprinkled all sorts of great words of wisdom during her chat with Jess Weiner. Debbie spoke about how her mom was such an inspiration to her, always telling her she was beautiful and could be anything she wanted to be. She believed that and look what she’s done! Debbie encouraged us to know what’s unique to us and find our own voice.
5. Ok, now this I couldn’t believe. Thursday night I was waddling down the hall on my way to dinner with Munchkin (yes, the adorable baby/kid brand, more on them and their cool new stuff very soon!). I look up and there’s Brene Brown right in front of me. She’s got some kind of helper dude with her, and another friend of mine is talking to her. This is good because while they are finishing up I’m able to get out all of my gasps and OMGs and face fanning. Then she drew her attention to me and I word vomited all over her. Seriously. When I met Oprah and got a photo I was stunned and at a loss for words and I just managed so say something like “Thank you, love you, picture?” With Brene, since I’d specifically been talking about topics in her books with friends and random strangers I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I told her about my background and my husband working as a police officer and how hard it is to be stuck in the middle of what feels like this great big divide and not wanting to choose sides etc etc etc. I told her how my mother in law introduced me the Power of Vulnerability and how she is huge fan and made me a huge fan. I just kept going and going and quoting her to herself. It was probably a really weird experience for her but she smiled and gave me a big hug. And I got a picture and promptly sent it to my mother in law and one of my BFFs who each texted me back the same thing “She’s my Oprah!”
6. My favorite part of conferences is always connecting with my colleagues that I otherwise only connect with online. I’m such a social person so it can be really hard doing all of my work alone, at my desk with few people to bounce ideas off of, and laugh with and just yaknow, water cooler talk. Earlier this year I decided to bring on more help for my business now that this is a full time thing and I’ll be taking some time off once the baby comes. I have some virtual assistance helping me with social media planning and scheduling, and Cara is my manager. So she has taken a huge weight off my shoulders handling the business side of things while I focus on what I love best: Being creative, writing, photography, and making awesome stuff online. It’s also freed up more time for me to be out of my inbox, and in the moment more with my kids. Definitely one of the most big girl decisions I’ve ever made regarding this blog. It was fun hanging out with her in person (we actually met a year ago at the same conference!) and having her help me schedule part of my days so I could get what I needed to get done done, then go to my room and take a nap.
Then there were awards, and dancing, and great sessions, and meeting people for the first time. I walked away feeling refueled and refreshed about my business and where I hope to take it. And I have a lot of new things to think about when it comes to self-esteem for my little ones, and girls I interact with.
I got so much great news while I was away but one of the best was news that Mom 2.0 Summit will be in freaking AUSTIN, TEXAS next year! I was already wondering how I’d swing it with a newborn but now that it’ll just be down the road it won’t be a problem. I already bought my ticket. Hope to see some of you there next year on my own stomping grounds!