As soon as I moved to Arizona & found out all the amazing bloggers close to me, I heard about Elevate and was easily convinced into buying a ticket to this years conference. I was so excited to go and learn, network & to meet all the girls I’ve grown & shared my life with. I won’t lie, I set an alarm the day the tickets went on sale, with a capped limit – I knew I had to get one.
It’s not easy explaining blogging to someone who doesn’t blog. “Ya, after I chase around a toddler all day, I sit down and write. Read what my friends did, stalk a little, comment a little. Uhm – I just write about my life, what we do…Ya, just life stuff.” Even my husband rolls his eyes when I tell him the happenings of all my friends. “Wait, have you ever even met her?” Is what I usually get – and 99% of the time the answer is NO. But, now I can say that I have met some of those girls & I do know them, and we are friends. That’s what Elevate was for me. Meeting friends, and feeling secure in my place. Secure in what makes me happy. I didn’t have to try and explain how I juggle Presley, housework, being a wife & blogging – because they all get it. They all understand, and struggle & share that struggle right along side with me.
Now if only my real home had really cute decorations, a snack shop & dirty diet cokes – I’d be set. I really couldn’t get over all the gorgeous details that went into Elevate. Bloggers follow these crazy trends (Chambray, top knots, garlands, mason jars, peonies, etc.) so to see it all there was just the icing on the cake. After an icebreaker, mingling & of course some fangirling (guilty as charged) we cozied up to listen to some speakers….Desiree, Lisa, Cara, Ashley, Chrissy, Stephanie, Alissa. I’m pretty sure I took about 17 pages of notes & cried & laughed & was so glad I got a seat right up front.
Of course in between speakers there were crafts & snacks & plenty of selfie time. Because bloggers have this thing for selfies….whats a blog post without a thousand pictures? Bloggers are always carrying cameras & aren’t shy to pose, whip it out & strike a pose. Again, I felt at home carrying around my camera. I wasn’t the only goofball with a huge camera around my neck.
At the end of the day, I was uplifted & inspired & felt PROUD to be a blogger. A lot of the time & energy that goes into writing doesn’t get noticed – but these girls get it. They get the numbers, the stress. And well, the craziness that is this virtual world. I fangirled WAY too much & squeezed way to many girls.
So. Here are some of my favorite selfies & of course, my favorite ladies.
Megan. I don’t hide it – I read her blog DAILY. I’m pretty sure her last name has ‘crutch’ in it solely for me. She is my crutch. I remember sobbing my eyes out day after day dealing with Presley & reading her blog about REAL motherhood really inspired me to be honest about the trials I was facing. She paints an honest, not sugar coated picture of life as a mom & girl is the shit. She is hilarious, and absolutely breathtaking in person. She gifted me a custom tank top with her blogs tagline & I’ve worn it daily while I sip hot cocoa & read blogs. GO follow her. I promise you will love her.
Nay: Not sure if I have EVER met a more genuine, kind person in my life. Shortly after becoming Instagram & blog buddies – I received a card in the mail (the day I got out of the 5day mastitis hospital trip) & cried my eyes out at her kind words. She is an amazing mother, role model & woman. I’m pretty sure I hugged her a hundred times & would have hugged her a hundred more.
Lisa Leonard – I’ve followed Lisa for several years now & about died when I found out she was speaking. She radiates such truth & light – her relationship with her family is so inspiring & her passion & love of life is incredible. I was so thankful that I got to chat with her after she spoke & am so thankful that she was so down to earth & easy to talk to. Oh & she follows me on Instagram, so that’s rad. Her BRAVE bracelet is on my wish list – It matches my tattoo! *wink wink hubby*
Lauren: I’ve known Lauren for 10+ years & this girl is the bomb. She is this tiny little firecracker & the most down to earth, honest girl you could ever hope to meet. I am still blown away she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her GORGEOUS wedding last year & was so thankful to be able to pick her up from the airport. I tried convincing her to stay with me forever, but that hot hubby of hers won’t allow it.
Cara – Oh holy hell is this woman just perfection. Talented as heck & the kindest gal you will ever meet. I felt like I was watching YouTube the entire time she was talking. Unreal meeting her. I wish I looked that good pregnant. You want to hate her for being so perfect, but then you can’t hate her because she’s just so sweet. Tricky I tell ya.
Ashley: Another little firecracker. Even in heels she was still shorter than me. I pretty much want to bottle her up & keep her in my pocket (I’ll take her boys too because they are divine!) She was so sweet & I loved talking with her after she spoke for a few minutes. Again, blew my mind how down to earth she is & how genuine our conversation was.
So, there you have it. Lots of links, lots of ladies – lots of laughter & love. Not going to lie, it was an incredible day & I am so thankful I was able to go. It was worth the drive with Presley, worth the ticket cost, worth it in every way. I really learned to Be Brave, to step out of my comfort zone. To be proud of myself, my blog & my numbers. To be ahead, to be bright & most of all – To be brave to be ME.
And the end.