When I walked into the Community Keynote this past Friday night—with an embarrassing number of candy bars in hand—I was still in a bit of shock with the environment I had willingly thrown myself into. There were so many people! So many I read and admired! So few places to take a nap! Even though I roomed with three very cool women, and I got to meet and hug so many others, I was still taking it all in on Friday night, not entirely sure the trip had been worth it. Then Casey took the stage and read her chosen post on parenting—a post I had actually read months before. There was such vulnerability, raw bravery, sheer grace and unharnessed honesty to her few minutes in front of a thousand fellow bloggers, and I instantly remembered why I had come, why I even keep a blog in the first place. There is such power in community, such a force in the act of capturing and sharing and putting our truths out there for the world to know and judge. The act of it is just so unbelievably courageous, and I'm honored to be among all the strong and talented women who bare their souls on a daily basis.
(FYI: The rest of the keynote speakers—on both Friday and Saturday nights—were all just as brave and impressive.)
Most of the other women I met just oozed class and originality and charm. (There are so many more I could link to, but, MY GOSH, linking is time-consuming.) Sure, not everyone was as fabulous as I had hoped, but they were mere blips on a much larger and cooler radar.
I didn't party all weekend long as I kind of wished I could have. On Friday night I was convinced it was nearing midnight and I needed to leave the cocktail party and collapse in bed, but when I headed outside it was STILL LIGHT OUT, and I may have been in my PJs at 9:30 that night. Or 9. I would begin to feel beat down and exhausted and a bit crampy first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, and although I wanted to make the rounds and take pictures with all of my blog crushes and socialize like a butterfly, I knew I needed to take it down a notch. (Mike is happy about that.) It doesn't make for many fun, drunken stories, but it does make the list of things I plan to hold over this child's head one day THAT MUCH LONGER.
When Mike asked if I would go again, I said, "Of course! AND I PLAN TO DRINK MY WAY THROUGH IT NEXT TIME." And, friends, I mean that.
I was actually in the Bay Area for a full week—before and after BlogHer—which both flew by and seemed like just a day or two too long to be away from my dog and my DVR. Before the conference I spent time with family, and I didn't fight my dad's insistence that I just "relax more!" and "rest!" and FINE DAD if you want to fluff those pillows and buy me another donut, I'll let you. THIS ONE TIME. The day after the conference I took my roommates around the city—the Victorian houses on Hayes Street were the biggest hit, it's safe to say—and forced them to listen to hours of "and that's where I went to elementary school and over there is where my sister made me beg for money on the street." As we were driving around one of the coolest cities I've ever been to and right after I announced that a particular McDonalds we passed near the park was one I used to frequent on Sundays, one of my carmates asked where I preferred to live, Texas or San Francisco. I didn't even pause—it didn't even occur to me to think about it—before saying, "Wherever Mike is."
I'm home now, in a house in a suburb in boring, suffocatingly hot, flat North Texas. The H&Ms and In & Out Burgers and blogging celebrity spottings are all a long plane ride—and a lifetime—away from me, but his face sure was worth returning to. Home is where he is.
For those who may be curious, the baby seems to be doing okay—although we'll know more at our next appointment this Friday. He/She only made mama physically sick a handful of times (and most of those were reserved for the plane-ride home because my Zofran prescription had run out). But I did pick up this onesie for his/her dad at a shop in Ghirardelli Square which amused me enough to forgive all the end-of-the-trip nausea. BUT LORD CHILD YOU BETTER BE CUTE.
When I handed Mike the onesie and yelled, "Surprise!" he pulled A NEW BLACKBERRY out of his pocket for me and also said "Surprise!" Not as soft as a onesie, no, but SO MUCH MORE BADASS OH MY GOODNESS I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT. Pictures from the blackberry and the trip to come ... soonish. I have a week's worth of General Hospital to get caught up on first.