I'm going to go ahead and be honest with you all. I was completely starstruck by these women. I hadn't been at the venue 10 minutes when Erin strolled up. I admit that I squealed. Loudly. I was just so damn excited to meet her. To follow her is to love her. So I'm sure she was well aware of all the stalker love she was going to receive that day. I was one of those stalkers. She is just as gorgeous in person. She is also warm, and quick to jump in the conversation. She wasn't worried about finding her friends, or the event coordinators. She was wholly in the moment, and ready to party. As if there was any doubt. Here is the picture I snapped of her, because I had to Instagram proof that she was indeed at Elevate, in the flesh! Also as a side and very personal note, when we were talking at dinner, she asked how old I was. Of course I told her that I was such an old lady at 35... To which she exclaimed, NO WAY, and that I looked fabulous. Well, if I didn't love her already...
When it was Erin's time to present, of course she got us all ready with the Cupid Shuffle. I had no idea what that was or what it meant, but of course Kristine taught me the basics. After a little dance party she got down to business. She gave us the history of Living in Yellow, but also presented us with the question of Why? What is the why? Why do you blog? Tough question when you really get down to it, am I right? What I loved about Erin's session was her commitment to her blog, and it's underlying theme of inspiring happiness. She told us that no matter what happens in her life, she wants to be able to laugh about it. That's why she will most likely blog the good, bad and embarrassing, all in an effort to make us and herself laugh about it. What started out as a 365 Gratitude Journal is now Living in Yellow.
This is Sarah, of Little Penelope Lane. To say that this woman is inspiring is an understatement. This is a woman who took what most scared her in the world and is currently using it to save lives. Sarah's daughter was born with Spina Bifida. She was told, while pregnant, that her daughter may or may not survive. That she may have one of a dozen side effects and birth defects. And yet, Sarah, with her faith, push forward. Her story, along with her daughters is one of determination and discovery. With a desire to find out what it was like to live with a child with Spina Bifida, she took it upon herself to share that story with her readers. Her blog is one of the leading blogs detailing life with a child with "extras", as Sarah would say.
As a mother, this alone is a source of great inspiration. But it's the business that Sarah has grown, literally in her own home that struck me most. Sarah started making bows when her daughters were little. Tired of paying someone else, she took it upon herself to make her own creations. Then as she shared them on her blog, people were interested, and offered her money for them. That turned into trunk shows in her home and in the homes of her friends. Other friends with homemade businesses started joining in, and before she knew it there was a line wrapped around the blog. Today Sarah and her mother run one of Southern California's leading Handmade boutiques. All while living with and mothering, three children.
This is Kimmie. Kimmie was so nervous, she warned us that she may or may not black out. She shared her story of miscarriage and loss, but the story was about so much more. She actually read the actual post from her blog, and it was beautiful. Beautifully written, in prose that made you feel like you were there. In the exam room, in the hospital waiting room, in the bathroom at 6 am when her precious Riley was born, too early to survive. There was not a dry eye in the place. I'll share her message in my next post, but she made me really think about me vs. my blog. Not just the whys and why not, but the me. The me that I pour into this blog. Her story is one I will never forget, but that's not the only reason that I love her. I love her, because when she handed me her business card, it reads: Kimmie: Wife. Mother. Rockstar. Fitting her perfectly.
This part of the post is going to sound so lame. And I apologize, but I have to tell you. Meeting this woman, in the flesh was amazing. Ashley Stock, is a rockstar. A celebrity among bloggers. She inspires me in ways I don't even understand. I'll share more of her message in another post, because honestly I could go on for days. For now I will tell you this was the moment it all became real.
Let me back up. In the summer of 2011, I wanted to make the hottest bakery item on the planet. Cake pops. Thanks to my intro to Pinterest, I was on the look out for the recipe. Most of them were complicated, and called for scratch recipes and numerous steps. Enter one Google search and BAM! Little Miss Momma makes the easiest cake pops in the world. Ingredients: One box cake mix, one can frosting. No joke add melting chocolate and done. But that wasn't the only thing I took away with me that day. Oh, no. I got my first taste of what lifestyle blogging was all about. I was in awe. I was inspired. I was obsessed in an almost single white female kind of way. And that was the time I fell in love with a blog and it's blogger. I told her that story, and apologized for possibly being a weirdo. She just laughed and said that her cake pops bring more traffic than any other post. I told her it's because it's the easiest recipe on the planet. But still Ashley sorry for being a blog stalker!
Fast forward to Elevate. I introduced myself and said I'm from Absolute Mommy. And she said, "I know you", and hugged me. Later when she handed me her business card, I said, thanks but as I'm sure you know, I already stalk you frequently. She just laughed and said, "but I love your comments". Because friends, she is that cool. That kind, and that person. The one on her blog. The one that you wonder if she is really like, well I'm here to tell you... She is.
I was lucky enough to sit at her table. Have lunch and dinner with her. And she was kind enough to take a picture with the starstruck blogger that I was. We shared stories about our hubbies, our kids, our lives. And it was incredibly cool. I don't have a better word for it.
Her session was equally motivating and inspiring. She even had notes for us. She answered the tough questions. Questions we could only ask someone who has had success like she has had. What's funny is she never once acted like she was more successful than any of us. She spoke to us as if we all had blogs of the same size. As if we all were ready and poised to take the blogging world by storm. There was no feeling that what she has done with her blog, is not totally attainable for mine.
These women are amazing. What's more amazing are their individual messages, and I apologize for not sharing them here. But you have to understand that their messages alone, are bigger and deserve more than just a quote. So that is what is to come.
Until then, get to know these awesome and awe inspiring women if you don't know them already.