Happiness Highlights: The #BlogHer11 Edition

Britt and Vikki in motion I’ve been in San Diego since Wednesday for BlogHer ‘11, a massive blogging conference that I’ve been attending annually since 2009. Like the picture above, it was a blur of happiness, awesome, and sweat. It was both a confidence boost and a payoff for several years of hard work. It was a mixture of culminations and new beginnings, a reminder that life in general is a constant blend of beginnings, middles, and ends, of journeys in progress and in motion.

I’m going to try and just hit the highlights. Because I love you.

On Friday, I was fortunate to be one of the bloggers who presented at the Voices of the Year Community Keynote. I was terrified going into the event, but ecstatic to have been selected as a reader. This is, in my opinion, one of the highest honors that BlogHer can bestow on a blogger, and it’s something I’ve actively dreamed about for two years. The reality was even better than the dream.

Sitting backstage with the other readers was, surprisingly, just as much of a highlight as actually reading on stage. There was this amazing glow of support and encouragement as we shared our nerves and then our stories and congratulations. I was part of something behind that curtain, and it was beautiful and rare and a moment to be treasured rather than forcibly reconstructed.

On Saturday, I was part of a panel called ‘Til Blog Do Us Part, a discussion about the effects that marriage and blogging can have on each other. I pitched this panel to BlogHer several months ago and I was so proud of the result. I feel like we offered the people in the audience solid takeaways and important ideas to think about, both of which I value when I attend conferences. I think I’d like to spend more time pursuing these types of experiences in the future.

Saturday night, Aiming Low – a blog for which I write and edit – hosted a community party. The theme of the party was Come As You Are and it was designed to reflect the welcoming, accepting message of the site itself. One way we did this was by using stickers that said “You Are…” – we would filled in the blanks with things like “beautiful” or “patient” and put them on guests. Our labels were a mixture of funny, intimate, and generically kind, and my God it was lovely to have the job of putting positive labels on people I’d just met. Women smiled, glowed, and thanked me for my kind words and it was a gift for me to be able to give those gifts to others. Loved it.

Of course, the entire trip was filled with people. Beautiful, fun, creative, encouraging, wonderful people. I was lucky to have some of my closest girlfriends there with me, women whose ties to my life cannot be contained by an Internet connection. I am always so grateful of the opportunity to breathe in the love of real girlfriends.

And now, I’m headed home. And as great as this trip was and as fluid as my home address currently is, I couldn’t be happier to get my butt back to that little tin can filled with the three people I love most in the world.

Happy Monday, y’all. May we all have a fabulous week.

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  1. Loralee says:

    So proud of you watching the Community Keynote. What an honor to call you a friend.

  2. Megan says:

    I need to see that video; I’m so proud of you.

    I am determined to experience this next year, hopefully with you. I actually already have the plane ticket (long story), so there will no excuses!

  3. Vikki says:

    Congrats on your reading – so happy to have been in the audience cheering you on. You look like you are having a blast dancing. I wish that I had been brave enough to dance.

  4. You look like you are having way too much fun in that picture, lol! It sounds like you had an awesome experience, maybe next year I will make it to Blogher! I had to laugh when I read about Aiming Low’s party and stickers, as I was present in Asheville at TypeACon at another awesome party sponsored by Aiming Low. There were some “stickers” of a different type applied that night, with a permanent marker! And the words were not necessarily descriptive of the person but were asbolutely hilariously done by Robin Plemmons!
    Enjoy your homecoming!
    How to finally do what you REALLY want to do

  5. the muskrat says:

    There was a long line to get affirmation stickers when I walked into the party, so I didn’t get one from you. Now I wish I had, because the one Deb wrote and put on me wasn’t all that affirming.

  6. Lisa says:

    This was my first BlogHer and I loved it. Spending time with my tribe was so good for my soul. The Aiming Low party was a huge highlight! The stickers and Robin’s sharpie tattoos were awesome, even if the inside of my shirt is now pink. I’m looking forward to next year already.

    @Vikki – It’s a good thing Vodka is such a good dancer – and so photogenic. That’s a great picture!

  7. Deborah says:

    you did a fantastic job at the keynote, and i hope that voices of the year-glow stays with you until next year…or the next time you get to grace your of peers with your words and voice. i’m still hanging on to the glow of having spent time with you. don’t forget we’re just 20 minutes from Jersey City if you’re able to add a stop for food, laundry and a blogher debrief.

  8. Loukia says:

    Britt, you did amazing at VOTY. If I wasn’t stuck at the stupid hair salon, I’d have 100% been at your session. I love you, and ybs is for our chats. You’re awesome, and I wish you’d RV it up to Canada. I’ll be in Toronto in a few weeks. Anyway. Huge hug to you. xoxo

  9. Alexandra says:

    I was so proud of the Aiming Low Badge you gave me, that I wore it till I went to bed at 2 a.m.

    You did me right , woman.

    Both before our readings at VOTY, and at the AL party.

    You’re a good person.

  10. Poppy says:

    Are BlogHer talks recorded? Is there a way for me to see Til Blog Do Us Part? I am grateful for my now life, but I think it would be great to refer new bloggers to that panel so they understand the wedge that blogging can bring to light between spouses. (Doesn’t cause it… just gives the wedge a place to manifest.) And yay for doing that!

    That party idea is divine. :)

    Congratulations on the keynote! I’ll congratulate you with a hug next week-ish.

  11. FireMom says:

    I found it completely interesting that FireDad got hit with a “I am -Hot & Juicy-” sticker. Interesting indeed!

    I loved hearing you read. And finally meeting you. You’re the best. :)

  12. Bre says:

    I’m proud of you. Not just because you’re famous and kind of a big deal. Love you!

  13. kateanon says:

    Every year I say I want to go, and every year I’ve missed it. I talk myself out of it because I’m not enough of a blogger, I don’t monetize or advertise, I’m not trying to land a cookbook or a paying gig. Maybe I just need to realize that going for the adventure, for the learning, for the socializing, for me, is OK.

  14. Vicky says:

    I attended your marriage/blogging panel and loved it. Having blogged about my marriage for the first time just this year, after blogging since 2005, I wanted to hear more about how others tackle the issue. Like you, we are doing counseling and surviving and thriving. Blogging about it all has been a huge positive. Thanks to you and the other panelists for such a great discussion.

  15. Liane says:

    Wow it sounds like such a connected and inspiring experience! Vry cool!

  16. anymommy says:

    I felt that same fabulous energy sitting under that gigantic backwards screen. So honored to have been there with you … meeting you again was a joy. xo.

  17. lizriz says:

    Hm… My Come As You Are sticker said, “You are… a lush.” :D

  18. Karen says:

    Britt, I loved till blog do us part, it was amazing and so helpful. And I’m glad I got to meet you! :)

  19. [...] had the strangest encounter in San Diego earlier this month while attending BlogHer. On more than one occasion, a blogger who had been following my family’s cross-country road [...]

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