BlogHer 2009 = Ridiculous Amounts of Much.

I just came back from the swell BlogHer conference, where there was much talk about how much is too much, and much ado about all kinds of things and nothings (and sometimes me thinks thou dost protest too much). But mainly and muchly, I found that I just downright enjoyed much. Much gathering, giving, eating, meeting, conferring and hanging with dear friends, old and new.

And since I have forever locked myself out of Flickr, because I can not for the life of me come up with a username/password combo they are happy with, I will share some faves here (most of which were completely stolen from Laurie and Gwen)…. in an effort to hopefully begin to convey how very happy I was to attend this fantastic conference (my fifth and favorite, so far…they get better every year). And how much I’m looking forward to next year (In NYC. Are you kidding me?! I’m counting the days.)

Here are a few reasons why I like to go to this conference so very much:

1. The Gathering. In Chicago with Kirtsy girls.

Four days with Gabrielle, Laurie and Gwen. We don’t get to in-person high-five half as much as we’d like to. So anytime we get together, watch out!

And this time, that included a larger group. Kirtsy chicks + Amy, Angela, Karen, Katie, Tracey, Sarah, Sarah,… and Karey! (above, most right) who lives far far far across seas. It was the first time I’d ever met her, and it was a treat. She’s as smart as she is gorgeous, her style is impeccable, and really, she’s just as awesome as you’d imagine. More so. Definitely a highlight of the trip to see so many awesome Kirtsy editors!

2. The Eating. Oh the eating.

We had so many really great lunches, dinners, after dinners, snacks and last minute get togethers to eat. This included chocolate covered bacon. Oh yes it did.

The lovely Miss Gwen celebrated her birthday while we were there, so we (along with Jen B) took her out for raw fish. Because Gwen’s awesome. And that’s what we do.

The next evening, we joined the smart, creative women of Cookie Magazine along with those of Friday Playdate, and Cool Mom Picks (Liz and Kristin) for the loveliest meal I’ve had in a while, at a total sensory feast of a joint called Blackbird. Spectacular food (Gabby posted some great photos). Compelling conversation. It’s always so fun to laugh hysterically about Twitter with people who actually know what Twitter is. (And love it as much as you do.)

3. The Giving. Of chocolate.

This year, we were super excited to hang with Anna from Hershey’s and hand out Hershey’s Bliss candy bars. Many of you know I’ve been obsessing about this chocolate since sometime last Fall, so it was a dream to get to hand out my own personal Bliss…an afternoon sugar rush of 1,500 bars that unexpectedly didn’t make it into the People’s Party bags…to friends, old and new, young and younger.

This was honestly a highlight for me, and an unexpected treat. It was totally fun to see people’s faces light up when you handed them gorgeous bars of chocolate. I absolutely loved Anna, and am more determined than ever to get to that chocolate spa of theirs!

Also, I loved hearing and seeing how conference attendees were referencing the Hershey’s Kirtsy Party Alertsy for their party info. So glad we could help! I know I was totally lost without mine.

3. The Meeting. On interesting ideas.

(Kirtsy Girls in the Microsoft Microspa. Photo by BabyJi. Find additional photos from Blogher09 here and here.)

I feel like the impromptu meetings at this conference were the best yet. So many smart women (And men too! Hi George!) were all together in one spot. It was bound to happen.

We were particularly inspired in the Microsoft Microspa (where I proposed marriage to Shawn, one of the talented massage therapists. He ignored my question but handed me a very nice beverage.) We had so much fun partnering with Microsoft for Hands on Social Media sessions earlier in the year, so it was great to in-person meet the smart people we’ve been working with.

Then of course there were the completely spontaneous meetings, like this one that Laurie captured with Stephanie and Jen of Project Picture Hope. (I’m 99% sure they were Skyping w/ women in Rwanda as this photo was taken.)

There really are so many women who have started projects, businesses, non-profits, organizations, inspirations and life-changing adventures as a result of meeting through this medium. It’s truly magical how this whole silly fantastic endeavor brings souls together.

Most of these souls never see each other, although I’m lucky enough to see my soul sister Karen on a semi-regular basis in Houston. I love this shot Laurie took above. And I love that I could say something to make Karen’s face do that smiley thing it’s doing there.

5. The Fun. With friends.

I love Isabel Kallman. She is a delight. The bearer of countless spectacular ideas and always a joy to see. (And Dude, check out those cheekbones!)

="http://thequeso.com/uploaded_images/Picture-2-711502.png">Catherine Connors is brilliant. And she agrees, Robert Pattinson should be consumed.

Ree and Gabrielle. What talents. (Ree’s photography stuns me…she even took a photo of us with one of her super cool cameras and put it up on her blog the very next day.) They are both forces of beauty…you can literally feel the kindness emanating. It’s just good to know they are both walking through the world.

Amy is creativity personified. Love her etsy shop. She rocked it in the Community Keynote and on a panel.

Always a treat to see Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom (and her lovely twin Susan too). They always have a lot going on.

Tracey Clark. Oh Tracey Clark. I have had so much fun working with her (and Shutter Sisters) this year to fill the Kirtsy book with the most amazing photography. The Shutter Sisters suite was my sanctuary this trip.

And Jenny. My always roommate. She is as smart, as fun, as dear, and as compassionate as they come. (Even if she made fun of my baggage and called me a meth addict.)

And finally, the Kirtsy girls again. I mentioned Gabby above. Gwen is a brilliant dream. And Laurie is my brain and my Double-Twin Flava Doppelgänger.

As you can imagine, we never have all that much fun.

The Details

14 Responses to BlogHer 2009 = Ridiculous Amounts of Much.

  1. laurie says:

    You all are positive and fun and real and I loved every time I saw you, which thankfully ended up being a lot. This was all just the perfect amount of much this year and I'm glad to hear someone else say it too. Beautiful pictures, awesome people.

  2. Mainline Mom says:

    I just want to follow you around at BlogHer, cuz you hang out with some incredible people. Not to mention yourself.

  3. Average Jane says:

    So glad to have a chance to chat with you at BlogHer again!

  4. Isabel @AlphaMom says:

    Oh-my-gawd.I made your favorites list. That photo of is quite special after all.And, those Hershey's Bliss bars saved ME on Saturday. I had them for breakfast and lunch and look, I was able to help execute the military-style operation that is pulling off our CheeseburgHer Party that night. Huzzah.As always, it was a great conference.

  5. Jenn says:

    I love that you are in Houston because you are so close. Yet, I hate that you are in Houston because it is not HERE. We must get together next time I am in Houston.I absolutely loved talking to you the few times we were able to. You are such a wonderful woman. I adore you!Oh, and the Hershey bars? Totally had a chocolate eating, Lifetime watching, laying in my hotel bed chilled Sunday night. PERFECT! Thank you!

  6. Design Mom says:

    You captured everything I love about BlogHer. Fantastic post. Can't get enough time with you — I'm quite sure it's impossible to do.

  7. karey m. says:

    i felt smarter and cooler after hanging with you all…now i feel twice that.thank you. and xoxo.

  8. gwen bell says:

    The queso. She liveth! I loved this post so much because it has the energy of you in it. The energy that somehow wears heels for the ENTIRE weekend and looks SO HOT in them I can't stand it. Ok, I might even feel a tiny bit one-upped. *wink* I love you to bits, Laura Mayes. Thank you for sharing some of this life with me.PS: My word verification is "pootlysz" which I'm sure is somehow intentional.

  9. Whit says:

    Glad you had such a good time. Viva la Kirtsy.

  10. Lisa Stone says:

    Muchly said, muchly deserved Laura. I like all my conferences with a serious dose of sweet, sweet queso. Thanks for my hug. See you at Mom 2.0!

  11. Jason says:

    This is a funny humor blog that you have here. I have one myself and I would like to exchange links with you. Let me know what you think.Sincerely,Jason

  12. Lady M says:

    Glad I got to see you briefly and hope we get to chat more next time. What a great weekend it was!

  13. amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay says:

    beautiful post- i love you so so much- send me a photo of us? xxoxoxo

  14. Pingback: Gather « Bringing Sexy Back Since 1979….

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