This past Saturday marked my 3rd anniversary of blogging in this space. That includes over 730 posts, and more amazingly, over 8,500 comments from all of you (including my responses to people). I am not exaggerating when I say that every single day I think about how much everyone here has done for me – how much support you have so freely given, and how much empathy you have supported me with during my lowest times.
Thankfully, you’ve also been here for the great times, and I’m especially lucky that once a year, I’ve been able to make it to blog meetups of one sort or another in order to meet a few of you ladies in “real life.”
- BBS (Blogger Beer Summit): 6 women – September 2010
- Blogorado: 6 women – October 2011
- A girls’ weekend in Breckenridge, CO (this time with some awesome ALI lady friends of mine, a few of whom I’ve been privileged to hang out with on multiple occasions since).
- ChiBLOGo: 9 women + 9 babies + 7 husbands – November 2012
- An entire ALI kids & family weekend in Chicago, IL.
Honestly, last weekend was SO MUCH FUN. It was totally spur of the moment – all planned and executed in under a month, and I ended up booking my ticket just one week in advance. I am incredibly thankful that I made it work, because it was so great to get to actually meet everyone’s kids and almost everyone’s significant others (my husband and SRB’s husband couldn’t make it because of work). Midwest Mama was kind enough to open up her home to me from Thursday-Sunday, so I got to spend a ton of time with her and her son L and husband C. We spent Friday day hanging out in a cloth diaper store (OMG – LOVE) and at an arboretum with a children’s garden (huge hit with the kids) and on Friday night, Steph and her husband JJ and daughter Chloe came over for dinner. On Saturday we all met up at the Lincoln Park Zoo in downtown Chicago for lunch and to walk around the zoo, and then after a quick afternoon break for nap times, 20 of the 25 of us were able to meet up again for dinner at a brewery. Arch Mama and her family stayed at Midwest Mama’s house on Friday and Saturday night, and I’m so thankful for that extra time to just sit around and talk in the late nights and early mornings while the kiddos were asleep. I wish I could have had more one-on-one conversations with everyone, but I guess it just means we need to all get together again! 🙂 I had a hard time only choosing a few pictures from the hundreds I took over the course of the weekend, so here are (quite a few) of my favorites!
The whole trip was yet another wonderful experience of meeting up with “internet friends” who have become such wonderful REAL friends to me. I love that we were all immediately so comfortable with each other. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it feels like I’ve already known these ladies forever (though we did notice a few funny things, like mispronouncing names – FYI – it’s RhiANNE-A, not like Rhianna the singer *grin*).
If any of you get the chance to do a blog meet-up – DO IT! I’ve met up with 18 of you now, and it’s so wonderful to put voices and faces to names and writing styles. You ladies are truly amazing, and I’m so thankful to this blogging world for the friendships is has allowed me to form with so many of you. ((HUGS))