bliss for the little sis

Warning. This post has a lot of links and I am sorry. I am also sorry if you inadvertently revert back to seventh grade when everyone went on that weekend retreat except you because your Great Aunt Patsy Lou was in town and your Mom would NOT listen to reason and let you go. And then all your friends came home and talked about it and were BFFs. I really hope this isn’t like that.
I spent the weekend with my sister in Nashville for BlissDom ’08. If you are unfamiliar with Blissfully Domestic, you should check it out. It is an online magazine that covers a variety of topics including marriage and family, home keeping, frugal living and fashion rules – to name only a few.

Karla and Alli are the co-founders of the magazine. With the help of some fabulous sponsors (Epson and One2One Network) they hosted a conference completely free on Saturday in Nashville. That is a big deal, y’all. There was swag. There were door prizes. It was pretty much awesome. And free. Thanks to the sponsors who think those of us who blog have an influence.

The Nester was on a few of the speaking panels and I, in true little sister fashion, tagged along: completely decked out in an outfit that came directly from her closet. She has a big ‘ole post on her blog that you should check out. Everything she said about everyone she met, I pretty much feel the same. And she posted stolen photos, so that’s kind of exciting.

The first time I attended an event that included other bloggers was at She Speaks back in June. That is where I first met Robin of Pensieve. The Nester and I were blessed to have her as a roommate (as well of Karla, who I also met at She Speaks).
This is Robin. She is grounded and funny and has a great accent. She is the editor of Inspired Bliss and also the Religion and Philosophy editor for Blog Nosh Magazine.

If any of you are bloggers who have never met another person who blogs in real life, let me encourage you to do so. Even if it is simply someone you’ve been reading who you know lives close. Arrange to meet for coffee. I have discovered that the women I connect with through blogging are women I connect with in real life. Seems obvious, but you know there’s always that question in the back of your mind: is this woman for real or typing from jail? In a man’s body? It is the creepy Internet, after all.

Speaking of meeting other bloggers: THANK YOU for your responses to my question from Monday. I enjoyed hearing all the reasons why you write and read blogs. Overwhelmingly, we blog for connection.

I asked the same question of the women on one of the panels during the conference because I believe it is vital for us to remember the purpose behind what we do. Honestly, blogging takes up space in my psyche and I have to remember the purpose for that space. It is valuable real estate, after all. It is replacing something that previously existed in that space and without a clear purpose, I feel like I’m wasting time. I’ll save that purpose for another post, though.

One last thing about the conference, I was blessed with another spontaneous surprise:
I got to meet my Fairy Blog Mother. In case you don’t know what that means, she designed my blog. She did not attend the conference but she lives in the area and she and her friends Kim and Rachel got up early Sunday morning just to come have breakfast with Nester and me. I was so touched that they would go out of their way to do this. When she was designing this layout for me, we emailed a lot and kind of got to know one another. I always wanted to meet her but never EVER thought I would. A sweet gift that I didn’t even know to ask for.

So that concludes my spontaneous adventure. It was a lovely, unexpected thing to be able to take off in a car with my sister and drive many hours and drink lots of coffee and eat Blizzards from DQ and laugh until we…well, you know. Speaking of underwear, I am glad to be home with a full supply.

why do you blog?

I’m back from my week of spontaneity and I look forward to telling you more about it. But first, I would love to hear from you!

In two sentences (one would be even better), I want to hear why you blog. If you can’t narrow it down to one sentence, feel free to simply process in the comments section. I’m all about processing.

If you don’t have your own blog, I would love to hear why you read the blogs you read. There is no right answer, of course. Just your highly valuable opinion. Now go!

spontaneous blessings

In the name of being spontaneous (yes, I’m still being spontaneous), a trip that was supposed to be two days long has turned into six. I feel 10 years younger. Especially since my mom has done my laundry. Twice.
These girls are one of the many blessings I have received on this spontaneous trip. The Nester and I made plans to have lunch with Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I attended several of her sessions at the She Speaks conference in June and was immediately drawn to her girlfriend speaking style and her willingness to speak truth with the perfect blend of confidence and grace. Sitting across the table from her, those qualities were displayed even more. She has a unique ability to cast vision for others and encourage them in that. If you don’t know anything about Lysa or Proverbs 31, let me encourage you to check them out.

Kristen of Beautifully Imperfect called me an hour before lunch. Spontaneously. She has never called me before. She even had to track down The Man to get my number. I am so glad she did. She is a friend from my hometown who is recently married and new to this big city (some of you may remember these photos from her wedding). She heard I was visiting and hesitantly asked if we could get together. Within the hour, we were sitting for lunch together and I truly believe it was a divine appointment. She is a writer. And as we listened to her talk about how she reluctantly decided to begin writing again through blogging, I felt as though I was watching the beginning of a dream take hold in her. I can’t wait to continue to know her better through her writing.

This week has been crazy and unpredictable. I’m still not home and I have a spontaneous road trip with my sister to look forward to. That’s right. I am thankful for the blessings available even in the midst of chaos. I am thankful for the money to buy new underwear because I didn’t pack enough. I am thankful for a sister who lets me borrow her cool clothes because I didn’t bring any. Speaking of chaos, check out my first attempt at taking the above photo with the remote. I need to practice being inconspicuous.

clothes on our back are plenty

Hi. My name is Emily and I am spontaneous. I blame that word for the lack of a real post today because the kids and I (heavy emphasis on I) spontaneously decided to visit my parents and The Nester this week. I even packed dirty clothes because I did not have time to wash them before I came. That is how very spontaneous I am. Unfortunately, the Internet service at my parents house is also spontaneously not uploading the photos I need to include to show you about all the spontaneity. Stay tuned, because I’m taking a chance and living the wild life, baby. You won’t wanna miss it. (Andy Davis, anyone?)