Last summer when I ran that half-marathon with 3 other blog friends, we were talking during our walk home from breakfast the final morning about how cool it is that internet friends have become “real life” friends for so many of us. I truly mean it when I say that the friendships I have made because of this space have changed my life. I’ve had 5 larger group meet-ups and numerous one-on-one meet-ups with many of you over the years, which is pretty darn cool to think about! My husband doesn’t even find it odd anymore when I plan trips to hang out with internet friends I’ve never met. 🙂
- My first group blogger meet-up was in California back in 2010, and I met up with 5 other women in LA. None of them were actually TTC bloggers – just random bloggers – and of those 5 women, 1 of them remains one of my very favorite people in the world (hi Ann!). Charlie and I have visited Ann & her husband in STL multiple times and actually went to their wedding a couple of years later, and I’d consider us to be actual “couple friends” with them now which is awesome.
- My second group blogger meet-up was the following fall (2011) when I met up with 5 ALI bloggers at a VRBO vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado. I was 6 months pregnant with Stella, and we were all in various stages of our TTC journeys. There was a 6th blogger who couldn’t make it to that particular meet-up, but the 7 of us have all met up in groups of 2 and 3 over the years since then, and we still have a group text going that we all chime in on from time to time. BU and I even went to Hawaii together last April, and she is one of my best friends as well now. Now that we’ve realized we live only 5-6 hours apart, it’s been fun to get our kids and husbands together more as well! Natalie also lives close to me and was able to visit with her husband and kids this past fall, and Oak lives fairly close to my parents so I’m able to see her and the fam from time to time when I’m up in MN. I love these ladies.
- My third group blogger meet-up was the following fall (2012) in Chicago. This was a doozie of a meet-up that included 9 bloggers + kids & most spouses. It was incredible to meet all of these women (and their families!), and one of them (NoBabyRuth) is actually who my family is staying with when we go to Spain in February! I stayed with MellowMama at her home in Chicago, and it was pretty cool to trust that this “stranger” would pick me and Stella up at the airport (complete with a car seat for her to use while we were there) and let us crash at their house all weekend. I still remember how the next morning she had an appointment so she left her 1.5 year old with me while she ran out. That is a pretty cool level of trust to have in “internet friends.”
- 2013 is the only year I’ve missed out on a big meet-up, I suppose because I was pregnant with my second kid and was parenting a toddler and life just got busy. I won’t let that happen again. 😉
- My fourth group blogger meet-up was with the 4 of the 5 women who I met up with a couple of years before that in Colorado. We met at a lake cabin in MN in August of 2014, and we spent the days lounging on the water, drinking cocktails and talking about life. It was fantastic. 🙂
- My fifth smaller meet-up was last summer (2016) when I ran that half-marathon. Two of the women I had already met during the Chicago meet-up in 2012, and one of the women was a newbie to me, but the four of us has such a blast together in Denver that weekend. It was an unforgettable trip for me.
Like I mentioned before, I’ve also met up with many of you one-on-one over the years, and this winter my husband and kids and I are headed to Spain to stay with an ALI blog friend for a week. I’m also trying to swing a wine country blogger friend trip in March that would be with nobody from the pictures above. Seriously, I’d honestly be sorely lacking on vacations if it wasn’t for my crazy internet friends, so thank you for being there and supporting me and becoming my real life friends as well. <3