1. Wine from wine bottles, poured straight into mouths and plastic bottles and never wine glasses, with too many ladies to count, packed in a sun filled, love filled, laughter and hug filled room. What the room did not have was an easy to use corkscrew, so it took 50(?) of us to get it open. There is a video. You may not laugh at it as much as we did. It may be one of those “you had to be there moments.” But there is a video.

Mae is very classy. She is also resourceful, like a Girl Scout… with wine.

2. Sitting on a beach (at the MOST chill, awesome #NintendoEnthused party), gathered around a fire pit, listening to some guy play and sing James Taylor songs on a guitar, discovering that the woman (a very notable one) to my left not only was familiar with the super small town I grew up in in Texas (3k people in the whole wide town,y’all), but her father graduated high school there in the 60s. The world, it is small.

3. Dance off at the Clever Girls party, Wii style. There were Smurfs involved. There was also alcohol and a little social anxiety masked as extreme excitement involved. The picture says it all. My teammates Mae, BethAnne and Suzanne were all very dancy and smurfy. Fun was had by all. I won a plush Papa Smurf for my awesome score. I knew those cheerleading dance skills would pay off someday.

Chihuahua on Redbull: The most accurate description of me at conferences.

4. Flopping into an outdoor chair after a long last day of sessions, sucking down a massive margarita, then calling Andy from the How To Be A Dad duo an asshole for taking the seat next to one of my internet besties who I hadn’t seen, like, the entire f-ing conference. Who cares that it was his seat all day? I don’t think he got my joke. It’s possible my sense of humor didn’t carry through my tone at that point since I was all tired and cranky and lacking REAL (not expo hall) food in my belly and my feet were covered in blisters. I explained to him that I’m not really a bitch. I’m not sure he believed me.

5. Hearing a woman mention “I’m a faculty member at the University of Missouri and work at KOMU…” I believe I spun around and the eloquent words that flew out of my mouth were, “SHUT. UP.” We bonded right then and there over the j-school and social media and OMG-journalism-and-social-media. And then? She asked me to come back and speak to j-school students at homecoming about what “other” things one can do with a journalism degree.

(Soo…. I can tell them you can start a blog and have really poor grammar and write in run-on sentences… and people will read you! And you can also drink wine and divulge way too much information about really personal things, and you can whine about how HORRIBLE potty training is… and people will read you! But, you won’t really get paid in cash monies. I’m sure it will all sound super appealing to them.)

6. Closing keynote, Ricki Lake, listening to her talk about producing The Business of Being Born and how it was the most important, fulfilling work she’s ever done, how she never even broke even, how it started a birthing revolution (that I like to think I’m a part of).

7. That moment at lunch on Pathfinder Day when I listened to Jess Weiner speak about women and empowerment and change and all the things you might expect to hear a motivational speaker talk about at a thing called Blogher, and I suddenly caught my breath, and I teared up just a bit, and I soaked in the moment… and I was grateful. I was grateful to be a part of all of this, this movement, this time when women DO have so. much. power.

8. Winning the Lowes competition after my team (consisting of Jen, Jenny, Linz and a couple more who I would link to, but it might take a week to locate their business cards in my luggage) created a back-to-school organization center out of a bunch of random supplies handed to us. Jen noted that I have good team management skills and that she was, strangely, okay with me bossing her around.

(Here’s the secret, y’all: Address people as “y’all,” and boss them in a southern accent. It gives me the advantage every time. You should try it… unless you’re from Brooklyn… but that might be funny.)

We each won $100 gift cards, which means that hideous ceiling fan in our living room is about to meet it’s demise.

9. The Romy Raves wine party at McCormick & Schmicks. It was so nice and intimate. I got to hang with Linz and Morgan, and I finally got to meet Jean! The wine was delicious (it was all from Cameron Hughes and affordable), and the little appetizers were the best thing I ate all week. The swag bag was out of this world, too. I got one of these Soiree things and it made my $8 bottle of wine taste… well, like more than $8 last night.

10. Waking twice in one night, rolling out of bed, my feet hitting the floor before I realized that baby that’s crying in the next room that I was going to go feed was not mine.

11. Dropping off over 70 bags of donated breastmilk to a very grateful mother from several of us who pumped at the conference. Yay breastmilk donation! Makes me warm and fuzzy every time. Kim and Jen were awesome for organizing that.

There were many more memories and many more pictures, but I will keep those close to my heart for now. Tomorrow I share my tips for Blogher12, which, in case you haven’t heard, will be back in NYC. Hope to meet more of you there! (And if you didn’t see, I shared some of the things I learned at the conference sessions yesterday.)

Don’t forget to enter to win a $500+ prize package from my Blogher sponsor BornFree. Open to US and Canada residents, even those of you who didn’t go to Blogher. Click here to fill out a quick form. They’re drawing a winner August 22nd.

28 thoughts on “Best Blogher11 Memories”

  1. Jill! I’m so glad the donation was a highlight, it was one of mine as well! I feel so bad that my blog has been taken over by BlogHer posts but tomorrow I’ll be posting mine as well. (sorry everyone who just wants to read about cloth diapers, lol)

    You are so cute in person. I wanted to take you home with me 🙂

    Kim

    1. It definitely was. I loved seeing that big, heavy bag full of it 🙂 I’m not sure I’ll be pumping next year, but would love to help organize it again. Hope to see you then!

  2. I totally geek out everytime you mention MU. I’m from CoMo and still live here. Soooooo, if you come to talk to the j-school at homecoming, methinks a meet-up is in order. Or, me stalking you from a safe distance. Either way.

    1. I would LOVE that because I’m pretty sure the j-school kids will look at me as what NOT to do with their expensive and very prestigious degree.

  3. That Smurf dance team was SO out of my comfort zone and also SO much fun. I’m sorry you ended up with my poor dance skills butt on your team or you might have won!

    Thanks for being a fantastic roommate. I know being stuck with me meant you missed out on some girl time with your besties from last year but I enjoyed getting to know you & you’re hilarious sense of humor.

    See you next year in NYC!

    1. Oh, I loved my roomies this year! I wish we could have ALL just stayed in a giant bunk somewhere so no time was to be missed with anyone. I certainly don’t regret getting to know you. You make me laugh 🙂

  4. Dear God I am a class act in BOTH of those photos. Still have NO IDEA what I’m doing with my neck in that second picture. None.

    Also I love you. And I miss you. Already.

  5. Ha ha! I totally got the jest! You just mistook my face numbness from 2.5 hours of sleep as a deadpan reaction to your pseudo-snark. Also, you were only one of three women who swore at me in good fun and then apologized and asked me to please believe that they weren’t a bitch. Ha ha ha ha ha! It was great fun and it was nice to meet you. And to steal your besty’s spot. 😉

  6. I read so many twitter updates of moms pumping or hearing babies crying and starting to get up to feed them, all I could picture was a herd of women roaming the halls like zombies looking for a baby to nurse! Hahaha! But it sounds like fun was had by all. And the wine video WAS hilarious!

  7. I’m SO excited we got to hang out… And I’m actually pretty sure a whole lot of my students will be interested in hearing what you did with your expensive and prestigious degree. Seriously, I’d love to see you at Homecoming!! Let’s chat soon.

    1. SO excited. And definitely getting in touch soon. Now I have the link to your other blog, yay! Can’t wait to read more about your amazing story. I’m really happy we made a connection 🙂

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