If you follow me on instagram (and of course you should, because it makes me feel happy)- you know I’ve been a tad busy with 450 of my favorite new friends lately… since I was at the SNAP! conference for creative bloggers last weekend.
Here’s the thing: it was a freaking blast. I met new people, I saw old friends, I put names to the faces I pour my soul out to everyday. It was like meeting your best friend in person, 450 times over.
But unless you are a blogger, you probably don’t care much about that. And that’s cool. You probably don’t care about my random inside jokes, silly escapades and the fact that I may or may not have peed my pants laughing so hard at grown women running around in masks who run into each others hotel rooms and scare the heck out of each other. Or retelling the funniest moments of the weekend which involved two sets of mistaken identity- one which saw me pinch the butt of someone who wasn’t who I thought it was (which I am fairly confident could be construed as assault), and one where someone ran up to me and excitedly proclaimed their love for my blog. Until they looked down at my nametag and said “Oh, nevermind, I thought you were Melissa!!!”. Which I think is pretty much the funniest thing to ever happen to me, especially because I am good friends with Melissa and love her blog, and that is what I get for going around pinching people’s butts when I don’t know who they are.
But I do want to share some things I learned about myself this weekend, and some things I hope I can help bring to each and every one of your lives from my experience.
The theme of SNAP! was “Spread Joy”. Hopefully as a crafty blogger I do spread joy.
I like to share ideas with other moms/women/interested readers on how to make things special for the people they love. But I’m not always great at including myself in that whole schpiel, and I know most women and moms like me aren’t.
When was the last time you did something that made YOU happy?
That you laughed so hard you could have written a new commercial for Depends?
That you threw on silly props for pictures even though you feel too fat for them, spent hours lost in photography, crafting or another hobby you love, or danced all night with glow sticks and a ton of girlfriends- just for FUN?
That you talked to friends for hours and lived on zero sleep for four days, following your dream even though you were scared, building your business, empowering yourself?
We as friends, as wives, as moms forget to make ourselves happy. We forget to create joy for ourselves. And that’s just what I got to do, and am vowing to do more of!
You’re not all bloggers. In fact, most of you probably didn’t know there are blog conferences or that people go to them. But you are all special and deserve to do what you love, to do something for yourselves, to feel empowered and find your own joy.
When I first got in the car to go to SNAP! I had doubts.
I didnt lose the 20 pounds I wanted to.
I didn’t have time to prepare all of my posts to go up on the blog while I was gone.
I didn’t feel like I was big enough, interesting enough, or worthwhile enough to approach some of the brands that were there.
I didn’t know if anyone would like me. If anyone would know me. If anyone would want to know me after it was over.
I’ve always been outgoing, but I have never been confident. I have never had “girlfriends” (while I love pink and pretty things, I have always just been “one of the guys” and a bit of a tomboy at heart), and I often feel insecure.
And you know what? That’s pretty freaking lame.
So, I checked the crap at the door. I acted silly. I ran up to total strangers who I had only talked to online and hugged them like they were my long lost sister.
I let myself be photographed (something I NEVER do): thanks to Melissa at Number 2 Pencil for the makeup & shot
and I spent a ton of time taking photos all around: thanks to Ann Marie at White House Black Shutters for this ihpone pic!
I talked about my strengths with brands. I took notes on how I can improve my business, and instead of feeling small, I felt empowered to take all this new knowledge and make myself better.I let myself be me, and be happy with who I am. I got to spend the whole long weekend doing what made me happy. Taking care of myself.
It was amazing.
If you’re a creative blogger, you should check out SNAP! next year. If you’re a mommy/food/other blogger and you’re going to be at BlogHer in Chicago- you should watch out because I apparently have no sense of personal boundaries or any idea who my friends are from the back.
If you aren’t any of those things, I totally suggest finding people who are into what you are and re-connecting. We sometimes forget to do that as moms. You dont have to spend an entire weekend with people in your little area… but find someone who loves what you love. Who is going through similar situations. Strike up a friendship. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and spread your joy to others!
I came home exhausted to a group of sick kiddos and a tired husband, but I was blessed to get to go with all of them to “say goodbye” to my husband’s sweet grandfather who is heading home to heaven in the next day or so.
It might be a rough week for us here, and some projects I am working on are going to shift a bit, but I can’t wait to get back to creating. To making relationships with all of you. And help inspire you to create joy, where ever you go… especially if it means doing something for YOURSELF from time to time. I am so glad I took the time to be “me” this last weekend and get back in touch with myself.
So here’s my challenge to you: do something that brings YOU joy. Read an extra book. Take a long bath. Go on a run, shopping, whatever. Ask for some help with the kids and hit the town. By yourself. Or have a wine night with girlfriends. And let yourself have a freaking blast, even if you come home to kids who are sick and sad situations- because you only live once, and taking care of you is just as important!
In case you’re wondering: SNAP! was held at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT. It is amazingly beautiful and such a fun place for a conference! I’ll be sharing some photos from around the grounds in a Lightroom tutorial sometime soon, so watch for more beauty shots!