This Is How Great I Had It At Mom 2.0 Summit In Atlanta (aka Unavoidable Name-Drop-Palooza)

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I started off Mom 2.0 Summit by taking a very well-lit and well-filtered selfie, because this is how I do.

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I had not one but two fantastic roommates, Vikki Reich and Susan Goldberg. They didn't kick me out when I managed to scatter dried mud and various pills all over the room within 15 minutes of checking in, so they come highly recommended, even if I do not.

photo credit: Laurie White

photo credit: Laurie White

I got to hang out with Laurie White, which is brilliant, because even though we talk every day on Google Chat, there are no hugs on Google Chat, and she is a good hugger.

The opening party on Thursday night had me tongue-tied and nervous, because it takes me a good while to adjust to sudden exposure to hundreds of internet people, but I managed to tuck myself away in quieter corners where I could breathe. It turns out that super smarties like Dadcation, Heather Armstrong, and Kelly Wickham also tuck themselves into quieter corners sometimes, so my introversion wins again.

I don't know if you know who Farrah Braniff is. She's the one at the far right there. She is cool, the kind of cool that kept me standing next to her like I could sponge the cool off her. Obviously, as you can tell from the above photo, it didn't work. 

Confession time: whenever I smile for a photo, I think tired thoughts and imagine myself looking tired and bored, because otherwise my eyes pop open and my face lights up like a Times Square New Year's Eve. That photo up there is an example of me forgetting to think tired thoughts and look bored.

Conclusion: Farrah's cool is non-transferable.

Unrelated to the actual Mom 2.0 Summit, I managed to sneak off to see Arcade Fire on Friday night. I want to write about it, but I actually can't find the words to explain why at moments I had to stand still with my eyes closed, two fingers pressed to my collarbone to catch the sound's rhythm as it moved through my core. I felt prayerful, even amidst the heavy cloud of pot smoke and errant confetti, even with the bodies that tilted and shook against me.

Or maybe that was the heavy cloud of pot smoke. I am partial to contact highs.

I want to meet up with these people again in 20 years at the Arcade Fire reunion tour: (back row) Susan, Meaghan Francis, Heather, Farrah, and me, and (front row) Krista Carnes, Laurie Smithwick, Barbara Jones, and Gabrielle Blair. Please be up for it, you guys.

photo credit: Christine Koh

photo credit: Christine Koh

On Saturday afternoon, I spoke on a panel called Hot Topics: What’s New? What’s Next? What’s Now? And What’s Most Important? with Ana Flores, Christine Koh, Titania Jordan, and Stacey Ferguson. We talked about social media platforms, how we do stuff, and how we make cash.

I really like the sound of the word "cash". Quick, get me a dog so I can name it.

photo credit: Christine Koh

photo credit: Christine Koh

I engaged in a little post-panel photobombing for Casey Carey-Brown and Christine's amusement.

And then Laura Mayes and Carrie Pacini, brilliant conference heads that they are, capped off Mom 2.0 Summit on Saturday evening with the first ever Iris Awards, an event designed to honour bloggers within the parent-blogging community by bloggers within the community. 

None of us knew what to expect from these awards, because these are the first of their kind (that I know of), but even if we would have had expectations, we would have been blown away. There is power in a community honouring its own, holding up those who have often put years into their crafts, and publicly acknowledging together what they have contributed to various platforms and to the larger community.

Thank you, Laura and Carrie, for bringing the Iris Awards into Mom 2.0 Summit. What a gift it was to see my beautiful friends and colleagues walk up to that podium and share in the gratitude. (You can find the list of winners and nominees here.)

When I finally dragged myself home and slumped against the wall in our apartment late Sunday night, I realized that, while I had remembered to bring the kitties some Rachael Ray cat food, which they ate off my clothes due to an ugly container explosion in my suitcase, I had not thought to bring anything home for Aidan. He, being the better of we two spouses, gifted me with this lovely print of a dinosaur giraffe guy by Andrei Feheregyhazi.

It was the perfect cap to a conference weekend that had inexplicably ended with a post-midnight brainstorming session about the branding possibilities of giraffe nubbins thousands of miles away not 24 hours before. I have decided that Aidan must either be psychic or a time-travelling shape-shifter to have found such an on-the-nose gift.

And that was Mom 2.0 Summit! How was that for name-dropping?


PS. There are a number of other people who have gone unmentioned. This is nothing personal. I simply neglected to take enough photos during the conference and am presently hopped up on muscle relaxants and cold medication. Wee!