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,

What is BlissDom?

Last year I made the trek to a blogging conference called BlissDom.  As I prepare to return to my community of fellow bloggers this week in Nashville, I thought it only fitting to write about this experience.

What is BlissDom?

If you are a blogger and visit other blogs regularly you might be seeing badges like this:
Join Me At Blissdom!I'm Going to Blissdom!Gonna Get My Bliss On at Blissdom!This is my Second Blissdom!

Or maybe you are seeing bloggers talk about BlissDom on Facebook or Twitter and you find yourself wondering, “What is this?”

Well, about a year and a half ago I was experiencing this.  Many of the blogs I read on a regular basis had these badges and so I clicked on one.  There was a video about the previous BlissDom conference, so I watched that.  Watching the video was all it took for me.  Whoever put the video together will be happy to know their work paid off.  I knew I wanted to attend after watching the video.  I talked about it with the hubster and he was in support of me going.  {Isn’t he awesome?}  It’s always held in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.  This year BlissDom is celebrating their 5 year anniversary.

I remember trying to explain to my family and friends what BlissDom was all about last year.  Most people had a question mark look on their face.  It’s okay.  The whole blogging conference is relatively new to most, but especially for people who don’t blog.  Because of the video & information BlissDom offered on their website and reading posts by other bloggers who had attended; I had a small inkling of what the conference would be like.

My purpose in going was:

1. I wanted to meet other people who have a passion for blogging.  In other words, I wanted to meet people who “get me.”  I didn’t know one single person who blogged on a regular basis in real life.  This would be the perfect place to make new friends who understand what I do.

2. I wanted to LEARN how to grow my blog.  Let me explain, up until the time of BlissDom I had maybe a handful of friends and family {THANK YOU!} who read my blog.  As my interest in blogging grew, I enjoyed making new friends online.  I realized that not only could I provide ideas &  information on things I love, including family, but also form sort of a community of friends.  I wanted to know how to do this.

3. I wanted to LEARN more about advertising.  I was very curious how bloggers incorporated advertising into their blog.  Why did they do this?  Do they make money doing it and if so, how much?  Does your blog become a business when you start advertising?  What are the legal & tax ramifications?

4. I wanted to LEARN more about HOW to do things.  Why did some blogs look more ‘professional’ than others?  I enjoy graphic design but don’t have any professional training.  How are bloggers able to make their site look the way that it does?  BlissDom had classes about this!

5. I wanted to meet the bloggers from blogs I regularly visited in real life.  In the blogging world they are pretty much celebrities!  Good thing is, they can go out in public and not have paparazzi after them! 😉 lol

6. I won’t lie, seeing that Harry Connick Jr. came to entertain the bloggers the previous year perked my interest in BlissDom as well.  I didn’t know if he would come again, but I knew there would be some sort of musical entertainer.  As a stay at home Mom, there aren’t many opportunities to go to concerts like when I was young and single.  BONUS!

Here is the BlissDom video from last year…the one I attended:

BlissDom ’11 from Blissful Media Group on Vimeo.

Watching this video brought back many memories and has increased my excitement ten fold. {Amy, I saw you in the video}  By the way, the flash mob was held in a session I did not attend. 🙁 Big Pouty Face because I would have been all over that!

Do you remember my post about Mat Kearney?  I couldn’t remember exactly what he said about being in a room filled with so many female social media enthusiasts.  Well, they showed that at the very beginning of the video…if you skipped watching you will have to watch it!  It’s pretty hilarious!

The clip with the man and woman on stage after Mat are the compassionate masterminds behind Love Drop.  Remember me writing about them?  You can read all posts I’ve written about BlissDom by clicking here.

So did I learn what I wanted to learn as stated in my purposes above?

ABSOLUTELY!

I learned all I wanted and MORE!  There are many sessions you can choose to attend led by experienced and successful bloggers.

My blog today is living proof of that.

I am so grateful for BlissDom.  The conference is a safe haven for bloggers…a community of social networking divas.

A few weeks back participants received a Prep For Bliss package:

Includes: Name Badge, Luggage Tag, Business Card Holder, Post-It Notes, Jewel CD & Various Free Food Coupons

 

Also included in this package was a letter from the BlissDom founders.  I want to share a profound quote from them:

“You are the pioneers of a generation who are forging the way in this new digital world.  We are living through the equivalent of the Industrial Revolution and the trails we blaze and how we choose to behave as a community will set a tone for generations.”

I was a newbie at BlissDom last year.  Not only was it my first Blissdom to attend, it was my first blogging conference to attend period.  Turns out there are many different blogging conferences held through out the year.  However, at this point in my life, being the family gal that I am, one blogging conference a year has worked for us.  { Don’t worry Amy I am considering going to another with you 😉 }  Balance is important. 😉

First thing I noticed was how everyone talked about each other by their blog name.  Instead of saying Shan from Family Brings Joy, they would say, “Did you meet Family Brings Joy?”  It was a little weird at first.  It’s understandable, though, because as a blogger, unless you have talked to the blogger personally, you know them by what the name of their blog, not by their given name.  Fortunately, we all have name tags on.  Sometimes I would see people reading my name tag as I walked by.  You see, we all have bloggers we want to meet while we are there.  I didn’t take offense when they would go out of their way to stop me just to see who I was and then say, “No, you’re not her.”  Scratch that, it bothered me just a tad.  However, I did the same thing, just never physically stopped them to read their name tag.  I would just look at them as I walked by.  I understand completely.

Other fun stuff about Blissdom:

  • SWAG {Stuff We All Get, meaning free products from the sponsors or participating brands}
  • Meeting celebrities {like Michelle Branch, Mat Kearney}
  • Food galore…didn’t need to purchase one meal while I was there.
  • Free shoulder/back massage and manicure
  • Networking Parties
  • The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is gorgeous!

I believe BlissDom chose their name because when you are there you are following your bliss…following your dreams.

If you haven’t been on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook page lately {join us!} then you will not know that this year’s entertainers/special events include for BlissDom include:

  • Handmade Marketplace
  • Nathan Pacheco {Singer}
  • Lorax {Dr. Suess Movie} Party
  • Joe Jonas {Singer}
  • Chris Mann {Singer}
  • Rascall Flatts
  • screening of OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter episode with Oprah and her friends Gayle King & Paula Deen

Wowza!!  What a line up!  Funny side note, when I shared with my 8 year old Daughter about Joe Jonas coming, she exclaimed, “Take lots of photos and video for me, Mom!”  Here is a text snapshot of what my 16 year old Daughter, who is a devoted Jonas Brothers fanatic said, when I shared the news with her:

My Daughter said later, “Why would Joe would want to go sing for a bunch of old women?”  LOL

Hopefully this post helped you understand a little bit more about BlissDom.

I leave on Wednesday!  If you are attending BlissDom, I have a special gift for the first 10 Family Brings Joy readers/friends.  Come introduce yourself to me.  I want to meet you!  Time for laundry & packing!

P.S: Please pray that I don’t get sick like I did going to my half marathon.  I would like to be able to enjoy the conference.  I just recovered from that sickness.  I know when you fly on an airplane that it increases your chances of getting sick.  I was worried about my muscles before my race.  I didn’t really think about how a cold/sinus infection/ear infection could impact my trip…it did.  It was a miracle I was able to run that race as bad as I was feeling.  Anyway, I would very much appreciate any prayers you might offer on my behalf.

Follow Your Bliss,