Anything Could Happen

Hey there!

haven buttonI’m getting excited about the blog conference I’m attending in Atlanta next week called Haven.  Last night there was a twitter party for attendees.  I was tweeting away with the best of them, only to realize nobody could read my tweets because my twitter account is “private.”  I used to have my twitter open to the public and received all kinds of SPAM so I decided to privatize it.  It was kind of a let down since the whole idea of having the party was to get to know some of the bloggers before attending the conference.

So I was visiting the Haven Link Up…

haven link up photo

hmmmm…

I’m wondering if I’m going to a modeling conference instead of a home bloggers conference.  Holy cow…if you want to see more of the beautiful bloggers click here.  If you are not sure what a link up is…it’s where you link up your blog so conference attendees can get to know each other by visiting their blogs.  Most bloggers inserted a photo of themselves instead of using their blog’s logo like I did.  Honestly, it’s probably a good idea to add a photo so people can put a name with a face.  However, I don’t really have a professional updated {with my new pixie cut} photo to share.  I need to do that.

Anyway, all of these bloggers look beautiful.  There’s nothing to say that they shouldn’t be beautiful.  Everyone is beautiful to God since we are all His children.  I guess it’s just a little intimidating.  I’m not sure what that says about me.  I’ve had friends tell me they used to think I was intimidating before they got to know me.  {I’m pretty sure it’s not because they thought I was model worthy.}  I’m completely and utterly shocked when this information was explained to me.  The LAST thing I would want would be for someone to be intimidated by me.  I love people and strive to be as friendly as possible to everyone I meet.

Shan at Blissdom familybringsjoy.com

Blissdom 2012

Here’s what I have learned about myself after attending 2 Blissdom blog conferences.  Even though I am secure in who I am as a person…even though I am content in knowing I’m not the top blogger on the block…even though I’m a people person…I still struggle socializing at conferences.  I am the girl who always wants everyone to feel accepted.  In high school I struggled with being friends with just one group of people.  For me, it was better to be friends with people from all the different “groups” than to ostracize people who weren’t in my group of friends.  This can be a little difficult because then I don’t feel like I belong anywhere.

before Blissdom cocktail party familybringsjoy.com

Me before Blissdom cocktail party

Let’s face it, when a bunch of women get together {sorry I know there are men bloggers too} invariably cliques form.  It’s like a law of nature or something.  This part makes me uncomfortable.  It’s not necessarily the workshops I have a problem with, it’s the “cocktail” parties and formal occasions.  You walk in and everyone is dressed up.  I like to dress up.  It’s fun when most days I wear t shirts and jeans.  After I walk into the party, and since I don’t know many people…well, it’s awkward.  Where do I go?  Who do I stand by?  Who do I talk to?  Then I feel as though people around me are noticing I’m alone.  I begin to think, “they must think I’m a real loser since I don’t have friends to come to the party with.”  The last conference I went to had a scenario like this:  I walked up to a table with 2 younger woman.  I asked if the spot at the table was taken… if I could join them.  They politely said I could join them.  We began to talk small talk and exchanged our business cards with our blogs on them.  I don’t remember exact words these girls said (thankfully), however I do remember how they made me feel.  I felt small…less than.  This is the exact feeling I never want people to have around me.  Nobody, I don’t care how many visitors come to your blog a day, is better than another person.  We all have problems.  We all have talents.  There is a quote that says “comparison is the thief of joy.”  I completely agree.  Once we begin to compare ourselves to another person we become insecure with who we are.  That feels dark and lonely.  Joy is filled with light and unity.

Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party

2012

After sharing the preceding story you might wonder why I even want to go to these conferences.  Well, fortunately, those “cocktail” parties are few and far between in the grand scheme of the conference.  The majority of the time you are in workshops learning more about the world of blogging and in this particular conference, home blogging.  The last 2 conferences I attended were for all types of bloggers, open to all.  But do you know who were the most genuine and friendly bloggers I met there were?  Yep, it was the home bloggers.  These are the women who focus primarily on inspiring others with things they do in their home by way of design and DIY.  After Blissdom, and later in the year, I had the amazing opportunity to be invited to participate in a blog hop with many influential home bloggers.  Do you remember what it was called…Roomspiration.  The other participants welcomed me warmly and helped whenever I had questions about anything.  I have never been able to meet any of these sweet ladies in person.  At least not yet, because I will next week at Haven!  A teensy part of me is nervous they won’t remember me.  It’s been a while since Roomspiration and I haven’t posted as often as I did then.

Whether those girls remember me or not, whether I make any new friends or not, I still want to go.  Going to the conference gives me something to look forward to.  I get away for a little bit from my normal routine and I am Shan the blogger.  I’m not so and so’s mom or so and so’s wife, I’m just me.  I enjoy being around other women who share in my passion for blogging.  I’m not going to let my uncomfortableness of certain social settings keep me from attending.  We have to take risks in life to grow and learn.  It’s not always pleasant, but wisdom and experience are the fruits yielded.

A friend once said this about me, “what you see is what you get.”  He is exactly right.  I don’t hide behind my feelings.  Many times I say the things I’m thinking when I probably shouldn’t because it sometimes is taken the wrong way.  I like to be unique and creative in the way I dress.  I absolutely despise gossip, which I know for a fact has kept me from having more friends.  I just try to treat others the way I would like to be treated.  Therefore, if I don’t want to be gossiped about, then I don’t gossip.  I have a big heart and only want the very best for people.  I have sincerely enjoyed writing and posting photos about our family’s home.  I’m grateful for the countless people I have gleaned inspiration from to make our home a haven.

Front of our home familybringsjoy.com

If you are attending Haven next week, I hope to meet you.  Please use my comments section as a sort of guestbook to let me know you stopped by.  I would love to visit your blog as well.  BTW, thank you for visiting my small abode. 😉  Only 5 more days…

Home Brings Joy,

You have to SEE this

This is the video that was shown at the beginning of the Blissdom Conference (for Bloggers).

 

It is very enlightening…for me encouraging.

 

Bloggers Unite,

Finding JOY in our own Story

The opening keynote speaker at the Blissdom Conference was Brene Brown.  She is a Wife, Mother, Author, Blogger (www.OrdinaryCourage.com), Social Worker and Professor.
 Brene Brown’s presentation resonated with me on a level I can not begin to describe or explain. {Not very good when you are writing a blog.}  She spoke about her current book titled: The Gifts of Imperfection.  The subtitle says, “Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are…Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life.
Isn’t the title of this book just beautiful?
Doesn’t it make you want to just exhale and feel GOOD?
Well then imagine how phenomenal her speech was.  Her slides had very yummy photographs as well.  But, that’s a whole different post.
Of course I took notes.  This line speaks volumes:

Owning our STORY and
loving ourselves 
through that process
is the BRAVEST thing
that we will ever do.”

I was delighted to meet Brene and have her sign my copy of The Gifts of Imperfection.  Since she is from Houston, Texas, I had to share with her my story of living in Houston.  Turns out, our husbands went to school together and share the same occupation! {Imagine Twilight Zone music here}  I appreciated her genuineness and sweet nature.  Just finished the preface of her book and I already feel SO GOOD!

If you want to learn more about truly living with JOY in your life, I completely recommend this book!  I have partnered with the Amazon.com Associates affiliate program to make things easier for you as well.  Just click on the link below and it will take you directly there. 🙂
You HAVE the control,
Shan

Electronic Music

I heard a beautiful song by Owl City on XM Radio’s The Message this morning. It’s a cover song. I will post a link to it on my blog Faith Brings Joy. I decided to look up his (Adam Young) website and found his blog. His last post is a fun song he just whipped up. It’s influence is from all the old video games from the 80’s like Pac-Man. If there is one thing I definitely learned at the Blissdom Blog Conference is that you can not put copyrighted music, pictures, anything copyrighted on your blog. So you will just have to go to his blog to hear it. Sorry! www.owlcityblog.com

I think it is amazingly cool that we can read artist’s blogs and find out who they are as a person.

Happy Monday,
Shan

Blog Conference Musings

It’s been an intense day so far here at Blissdom Blog Conference. I found out that I am considered a purist. This is a blogger who has no ads on their blog. It’s a new world listening to all the fellow bloggers who have quite a following. I feel like a little fish in a gigantic pond. Meeting lots of women, including my favorite bloggers who I have read for a long time. I am grateful to meet them and see how genuine they are in person. That has really been the highlight of my time here so far. Missing the family, but I know my time here will go very quickly and I will be reunited with them again.

P.S. : If you introduced yourself to me at the conference today & your visiting my humble little blog for the first time, welcome. It was great meeting you!

Blog on,

Blissdom Introduction

Some of my new cyber (facebook & twitter) friends who are also attending Blissdom Blog Conference have introduced themselves on their blogs. What a great idea! I’m taking a break from packing and decided I would quickly write an intro before heading out to run.

  1. Thanks to my Army Dad (retired now) I was born in Germany. Unfortunately, I was a baby when we returned to the States so I don’t remember visiting. I hope to visit there some day. I grew up in Texas, so I consider myself a Texan even though our family moved to Oklahoma 4 years ago.
  2. In September I celebrated the big 40! Fortunately, I inherited ‘young looking’ genes. I absolutely love it when people tell me I look too young to have a 15 year old. 😉
  3. I’ve had many career ambitions in my lifetime. I took dance from very young to high school. So at one point in time I dreamed of moving to NYC to become a prima ballerina {I still LOVE to dance!} I changed my mind and wanted to be a Lawyer…did the debate thing in High School. Since I’m not the academic type {couldn’t see myself going to school for 6+ years} I decided against it. Next, I set my sights on a Public Relations major and minoring in Theater. I ended up with an Associates Degree in Education. I met my husband when I was in college for my bachelors degree in Recreational Therapy. Life had different plans for me because now I work at home as a Family Manager. Hardest job ever!
  4. My husband is learning to multi task as he was recently ordained the Bishop for our local church congregation. In addition to being the Father of our 3 kids, he has a busy medical practice and enjoys running, cycling and triathlons.
  5. I’m not really a sweet tooth kind of gal. Salty foods like extra cheesy Goldfish, cheese Chex Mix, cheese Doritos {basically I love cheese!} are my weakness! However, I am a sucker for Reeses. 😉 Chocolate and peanut butter is the perfect combo!
  6. I used to LOVE television. However, I don’t have as many shows I like to watch as I used to. My favorite show now is Parenthood. Thanks to the Twilight series I have become an avid reader of fantasy/paranormal romance books {mostly teen & young adult.} So now I read. Before Twilight, I only read non-fiction books. Last year I read or listened to 37 books.
  7. Leigh (which is my middle name, BTW) wrote about her personality that I thought was very similar to me as well. She said, “I’m a good mix of extrovert and introvert.” I think I am the same. I am definitely a people person. I don’t like to judge others or gossip. You never know what people are going through in their life. My kids are constantly hearing me say to them, “they are a child of God, too,” when I hear them speaking unkind things about someone. It is very important to me that my kids learn to be accepting of others no matter what someones shortcomings might be. I am a firm believer in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  8. I ran cross country & track in grade school, but discontinued running until after I had my third child. I joined Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and ran my first half marathon in 2003 and my first full marathon {a fulfilled dream!} in 2005. Currently, I struggle to get back into running after suffering from Achilles Tendinitis.
  9. I like to be straight forward. It’s weird. According to books I have read about the way women talk and the way men talk and my conversational style is more like a man. I don’t mean that my voice sounds like a man. LOL I just like to be direct and talk about things that matter. I don’t mind talking about the weather, but I would much rather talk about music, movies, books, blogs, graphic arts, decorating, travel, crafts, my family, my faith, photography, scrapbooking or the lives of the people I am talking to.
  10. In a nut shell, I’m just a down-to-earth girl who has MANY interests. 😀

Looking forward to making many new friends this week!

Auf Wiedersehen,
Shan

P.S. : I love hats! If you see someone wearing a hat at Blissdom, it might be me! 🙂