Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There And Back Again {The Blissdom Recap}

(in)Courage Party
Sarah, Me, Mandi, and Staci
This post has been sitting in my brain waiting patiently to be posted while I've gotten back into a groove here at home. It's rather long...can you persevere to the end? The good stuff is in point #9!! :D

Blissdom was a whirlwind for me. New place, new people, and the still-crazy experience of being at a conference about blogging. :) Here's what stood out in the blur:

1) The best roomies ever, Sarah and Christine. Christine decided to join us last minute, and I'm so glad she did. These girls are the real deal--kind, honest, and interesting. None of us got enough sleep, because whenever we were in the room together, we were talking!

2) The people. I was surprised at how accurately a person's personality can be perceived through their blog. I met some awesome folks.

Pictured below: Kathy (that lady cracks me up! She is refreshingly comfortable in her own skin), Kate, Me, and Amy (we had this hilarious squeeling "I know you!" moment).

Kathy, Kate, Me, and Amy

3) This has nothing to do with Blissdom, but the lovely snow sparkling all over Nashville on Wednesday morning was a highlight for this Florida girl. I wish I had stopped to take pictures!! The family I stayed with on Tuesday night took such good care of me and prepped my car for the 5 minute drive out of their neighborhood on un-scraped roads (thanks Bobbi and Chuck!).

4) Most random moment at Blissdom: Meeting Russ Taff's wife, Tori. Who is Russ Taff, you ask? I
recognized the name because he's an old-school Christian music artist and my parents used to have one of his tapes. Very random.


5) The creativity. Bloggers do web design, make jewelry, sew cute purses, cook incredible food, write books, take breath-taking photos, and the list goes on. I've never seen so many fancy cameras in one place...:) Thanks to Tricia for helping me tweak the settings on my camera for taking inside pictures.

(in)Courage Party at Blissdom
The (in)Courage party...it was PACKED!
6) I realized I know next to nothing about SEO (search engine optimization). I'm not sure I have the time the learn all the ropes of SEO, but I might try to take some baby steps.

7) Meeting the ladies in the "Lifestyle" tribe. What a sweet bunch of women! Thanks to Robin for being our awesome coordinator. Sad that Sandy couldn't make it due to the bad weather...

8) The Friday morning prayer breakfast. Sarah and I barely made it (and showed up in our PJs), but it was refreshing to take time out and pray with other women.

9) My takeaway from Blissdom was not what I expected. I realized that 1) I could probably make a lucrative income from blogging, but 2) I'm not willing to put in the time that it would require (at least not now). Being away from home gave me some crystal-clear perspective on why I love being a wife, mom, and homemaker. It is such a pleasure to be devoted to that. I was happy to relinquish my career as an ICU nurse for that very reason.

As a perfectionist, my default setting is to do things "all the way!" I get excited and gung-ho. At first, I have fun. There is thrill in "accomplishing." But then the pressure creeps in. Pressure to do a better job or to fit everything in to my day. And that pressure is joy-killing.

So, I've decided that when it comes to blogging, the pressure's off. I will blog when 1) I have something I feel like I should say or 2) for fun, because I want to. I will still discipline myself to sit down and write, but I will not write at 9pm when I'm exhausted just because "I need to write a post for tomorrow!"

I will keep up Try New Adventures Thursday, because I have a ball with that. I will still post about homemaking, 'cause that's what I do and because I like aprons. But I might also post about photography or the price of tea in China.

10) It's cliche and mushy, but truly the best part about Blissdom was coming home.

Father and Son (Jan 18th)
I'm thinking lots of mushy thoughts about these two, but I'll spare you the details. (See how good I'm being, sisterchicks?)

This was a crazy-long post. In closing, a note to my readers (you!): You guys are awesome and I appreciate every comment you leave. I enjoy getting to know you here, on Twitter, on facebook, through email, and maybe even at Blissdom. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

I'm linked to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda's! Amanda is even cooler in real life, just so ya know. ;)


  1. I totally agree with you on #9 (tho' I'm not a perfectionist), whenever I stress about I should post more or I wish I had more readers, I remember that's not why I blog, it's just an outlet for me when I have something to say and it's something I enjoy. Of course as one of your readers, I want YOU to post everyday so I have something to read ;-) but as you said, if you wanted a full time job, you could still be a nurse. So don't stress on my account. LOL

  2. I love your blissdom recap! And loved #9... I want to make money at it too - but your perspective about putting that much time into may not be worth the $$. Definitely weighing my options with that! :)

    Have a great day!

  3. So true Alicia!!! And I *heart* all those pictures ... especially the first one!! Such a pleasure to meet you in person.

  4. I love, love, love what you came away with (in excellent point #9). That is so refreshing. And I bet it is rather freeing, isn't it?


    P.S., Russ Taff?!? Now that's a blast from the past. :)

  5. Can I just copy and paste CindyC's comment and sign my name? ;) There's been times that I've considered turning my blog into money, but at the end of the day it all boils down to exactly what you said in #9.

    And Russ Taff - that is totally the most random thing, ever! Bring on those Gaither Homecoming videos!!

  6. Eos, ya made me smile. :)

    But it's true...when you suddenly have all of these readers it's easy to feel obligated to post at a certain frequency or on certain topics because that's what you think people "expect."

    And if you're monetizing, then you might feel like you need to do certain things to be successful with that endeavor. Not monetizing (or at least not aggressively) certainly takes the pressure off of me!

    Cindy, it is VERY freeing! Hurrah! :) And I'm glad someone knew who Russ Taff is...hehe.

  7. Miriam, just saw your comment! Thanks, sweet lady. Ooooh, and P.S. It is very sad that I was IN VIRGINIA but didn't get to see you!

  8. So much fun! I totally know what you mean about pressure...mostly from ourselves I guess.

  9. I agree with everything you said in number 9!! I enjoy blogging but don't want to put the time into really making money because then I would be working and I love being a full time wife and mother!

  10. So glad we finally met in real life!! You are rockin'! :)

    And I totally agree with Number 9. My girls couldn't stop smiling and laughing when they picked me up from the airport. It's good to be home. *sigh*

  11. Fun to read your blissom recap! I thought #2 was interesting, I've often wondered if how much of a blogger's personality comes through on their blog.

  12. Oh, I love that first pic--I'm jealous I'm not in it! You guys look gorgeous!

    And I love this post (girl, you think this is long? have you read MY blog?). Such great takeaways.

    Girl you are rockin' the camera!

    SO SO happy we hung out at Blissdom. :)

  13. That last picture is too sweet! I love it!

    YES! to posting when you have something to say -- not because you FEEL you must! YES YESYES

  14. It was so wonderful to meet you at Blissdom!! Wish I had more time to hang out with you - hopefully next year!!

  15. Oh I love those pictures. And loved meeting you and hanging out. You are absolutely delightful.

  16. beautiful photos!! so glad you had a good time! (love number 9!)

  17. It was so good to meet you!! I love meeting people I click with :)

  18. I understand. I am right there with you girl, except I have never been to a blogging conference (I want to so bad, I just don't know how anyone can afford it?). I do know Amanda, Staci, and Mandi by the way although I haven't seen them since I was 15.

  19. So happy to have you back!!!! It looks like you had such an awesome time, and if you were not you, you would not have included #9 in there. I agree with everyone else's comments, so I won't repost, but you are a special lady and you bring something super special to this bloggy thing. Thanks for letting us come along on your ride! :)

  20. I love this post. It makes me feel like I'm right back at Blissdom with you! I'm so glad I got to meet you in person and spend some time with you.

  21. When I read the part about your favorite thing being coming home, my heart did that thing where it gets really happy and my eyes tear up for a second. I love you Alicia!

  22. I think that when blogging is a chore, it's a job and you ought to be paid for it or just give up. When it's fun, it's easier not to worry about the money part and you won't feel obligated. No need to add pressure to yourself when it's not a job!

    I remember a Russ Taff in my mom's tape collection, along with Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman and others I no longer remember. Ha!


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