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July 2009

BlogHer IRL: Part Deux and Why I Should NOT Do This Sort of Thing for a Living

Morning Yoga at Millenium Park in Chicago

Morning yoga in Millenium Park, Chicago.

So, you're probably getting really, really tired reading about BlogHer 2009, right?  Unless, you happen to be one of my IRL friends (who just recently have been "friend-ing me" on Facebook, like crazy, all of a sudden and are all like, "SO THIS IS WHERE YOU'VE BEEN HIDING," here, all the time) then, all this talk about blogging conferences, swag hags and stuff is going to sound really, really weird.

First, check out BlogHer IRL - Part One (if, you'd like) because, I posted some really pretty pictures of my time in Chicago.  Also, it will bring my IRL friends up to speed on why I go to these type of things and, well, to be real honest with you, my hair looks really, really good, too.

[stretch]

Then, go over and read some thoughts on BlogHer'09 from one of the founders, because she is way smarter than me.

My take?

Blogging, like yoga, is an exercise in patience and self-awareness -- it helps to keep an open mind and listen to your body; especially, when it starts hollering stuff like:

"This so does NOT feel good, right now!"

So, there's this thing about the PR Blackout Challenge and Blog With Integrity (pretty badge on left) but, go figure, it took a work-at-home dad to reaffirm the fact that I also Blog for Peace not Swag (even prettier badge on right) still, everyone seems to be getting all sorts of mad and confused.

"STOPIT!"

Yeah, I don't get this whole mom bloggers...marketing executives...and pr people...OH MY...they ARE the devil...sort of thing, either.

No one has ever, never, twisted my arm to write about anything I did NOT want to, seriously and, as long as I have access to a "delete" or "edit" button, I'm good.

Frankly, I don't want my IRL friends to get the wrong idea.  This, right here, is not what I do for a living.  This is where I go (oh, and here too) for the last 6 years, to write.  For me.  So, hopefully, one day, my kids realize that, you know, mommy had her own set of issues to deal with, too.

Then, I lost about 2 years worth of writing -- because, I'm talented like that -- moving from here, to here, to here (see, broken links, no content, gone, fuhcotta) and then, I parked my butt right back here and became a dot com.

Weird, right?

Anyway, I started getting to know all sorts of really cool people online (old school blogging at it's very best) and then the kids started growing up and, you know, still needed me to teach them stuff (parenting doesn't stop after full-day kindergarten, btw) and I found myself turning to my internet friends, more and more, since I was pretty much guaranteed at least a hundred different opinions, on everything from parenting while under the influence of children and just where in the heck DO all those missing socks go, anyways?

Um, okay, sorry, I lose track sometimes...um...okay, so then I started another blog to help families (like mine) figure out stuff, like just what in the heck all those cryptic game rating symbols really mean and my kids love to tell their friends stuff, like:

"My mom is a blogger, we were in a commercial and SHE got to meet Jack Sparrow!"

That's where things get a little weirder -- okay, I did NOT actually get to meet Johnny Depp, just his stunt double -- people seemed to actually really want hear what I had to say about stuff, like blogging  about the type of socks we buy, much to the amazement of my family and IRL friends...me, too.

Why?

Well, if you saw a dinosaur, say walking down 5th Avenue in NYC, wouldn't you want to know what it was doing there, let alone, how in the heck it managed to survive, this long, in the first place!?!?

Okay, so that pretty much explains why I don't do this for a living, right?

Still, there are folks out there (something like 6 bazillion, at last count, I think) who believe that there MUST BE other reasons, more sinister and a lot more annoying (if you could imagine) than being a mom (like me) blogging about stuff, other than rainbows, glitter glue and poopie diapers.

I mean, FTC forbid someone (like me) would actually have something to say, with nothing up my sleeve, other than good intentions, no matter how much free stuff people seem to keep wanting to throw at me, or how long it takes, you know, for me to keep saying it.

[wrapping it up, now]

Hopefully, this is nothing that my friends and readers don't already know.  I live to write (not host giveaways) however, giving back to the community, online and IRL...well, it's how we roll:

"This Full House you just raised $5,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, what are you going to do now?"

Waiting to see how long it takes for folks like the Wall Street Journal to pick up on the fact that there are moms who are actually trying to do some really good things with their blogs.

Not going to hold my breath, for too long, though.

My biggest regret?

Not hugging Mir (Woulda Coulda Shoulda) IRL, when I had the chance, DAMMIT!

Edited to Add:  Received an email from a reader (thank you for taking the time, June!) and I hope that you did not misunderstand my rant for anything other than asking traditional media to consider that there are plenty of reasons why (other than getting stuff) that people (especially, moms like me) blog and, yes, I really do think that kindness is very much underrated these days.

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© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

BlogHer IRL - Part One

Me and Melisa (Suburban Scrawl) at Nikon  

Me and Melisa (with one s!)

IRL (in real life) I am no one special.  I'm just a mom, who blogs about stuff (like, more than just being a mom) and, sometimes, if I'm real lucky, I even get to do good stuff (like, go to conferences and perhaps even raise a little bit of money) with other folks (like me) who otherwise I would probably never get the chance to meet,  IRL.

Me and Sue (As Cape Cod Turns) at Nikon

Me and Sue (As Cape Cod Turns)

Even though our families have probably passed each other (once, or twice) on the street - especially,  during the last 20 summers or so.

Phatmommy Addresses the BlogHer 5Kers 

Shannon (Phatmommy) warms up before the BlogHer 5K

Getting up very, very early in the morning and being allowed the opportunity to decompress before the start of the whirlwind of panels, workshops and geek fests that is BlogHer!


Diana does the 5K!

Diana Prichard (my very sweet and even smarter roomie) does the 5K!

Seeking out quiet moments of reflection and re-evaluation, like having made the commitment to blog with integrity long before even becoming a dot com.

BlogHer Keynotes  

Courtesy of Jack's Dad

Sitting in a room with something like 1,500 people and being able to say that you ALL have at least 1 thing in common!

Captain Morgan and Me in Chicago

Captain Morgan and me!

Oh yes, and there will probably be frivolity and many other light and airy moments that would require one to tap into their inner-child.  All in good clean fun, of course.

Roof at The Wit in Chicago

Hanging with Suave at the rooftop at The Wit looks really pretty, right?

Along with a myriad of other fancy-type festivities in places where a person (like me) would have no reason, or business to be near, let alone allowed into -- especially, if she is seriously afraid of very large crowds, or heights.

Me and dawn at suave party 

Me and my good friend Dawn Meehan (Because I Said So) who I just can't seem to get enough of, really!

But, putting all fears and insecurities aside, these are just a few of the people, along with about a thousand others, I would fly over oceans, or travel thousands of miles, to see, and have, as a matter of fact.

Elizabeth, Jenn and Me in Limo 

Busy Mom, JavaJenn and Me

As I, personally, will witness many random acts of kindness (like, eating at a table filled with strangers, while patiently listening to another mom tell her story, in between sobs of tears, then they're telling her that it's okay and that she is not alone) and sharing some good clean fun with some long-time blogging friends at said festivities.

Me, Shannon and Kendra

Me, Shannon (Phatmommy) and Kendra at the wrap-up cocktail party, courtesy of Jack's Dad...again..he takes really good pictures, yeah?

Also, many people (like you) will take full advantage of photo ops (like these) knowing full well that you probably won't see your new best friends, for a very long time.

Sheraton's Back Porch

Sitting on Sheraton's back porch.

Like I told the dude on the airport shuttle, while sharing a ride to the Sheraton, who admittedly "just don't get this whole mom blogger thing" (that's okay, a lot of people IRL don't get me, either) being able to share quiet little moments (like these) is pretty much what being a blogger really means to me.

Mom, sponsored, or not.

The End.

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

BlogHer, I Don't Even Know Her!

Liz@thisfullhouse up close and personal

Look for me, I'll be the one tripping over my tongue and spilling stuff at BlogHer!

Hello, my name is Liz and this is my 3rd year attending BlogHer.  In 2007, Mocha Mom introduced BlogMe and made it easyIn 2008, Mrs. Flinger wanted brutally honesty in introducing ourselves and then slapped me, really hard, on my butt, AND it still hurts

This year?

Well, most people already know I'm a dork and still seem to want to sleep with me...d'oh...I mean, share a room and cab fare!

[sound of crickets chirping]

Moving on.

Seeing as I am more than willing to help a newbie out -- because, obviously, they don't know I'm a dork...yet -- a few readers thought it wise to put together a list of BlogHer questions for me.

People actually thought I'd know the answer to these:

Continue reading "BlogHer, I Don't Even Know Her!" »

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Parenting tip #6,299,999: Kids May Be Closer Than They Seem

Peace momma.

Yeah, for sure, so it makes my eyes hurt (a little) but, isn't it awesome?!?  My middle girl (she's 13) made it for me.  Yesterday, I think.  Although, I forget what day it is.  These last few weeks are beginning to meld, together. 

"What time is it, Momma?"

In fact, this week sort of reminds me of when my brother and I would spend summers with my grandmother, sitting on her plastic-covered couch...a little sticky and, if you move to fast, you could really hurt yourself.

"Why, you have some place to go, or something?"

Actually, besides staying with my folks (while, I'm away at BlogHer) my two oldest girls with their respective babysitting gigs and a long-overdue-visit with my friend Kate [waves] our calendar is absolutely open for the entire month of August.

"No, but can So-and-So come over and swim?"

Which, of course, could be a good thing, if you're like me and trying really hard to simplify your life, because, I swear, it does NOT get any easier, I don't care how old your kids are.

"NO!  It's MY turn to have someone over!!!"

Then again, there's a reason why my husband, Garth [not his real name] calls me, before turning into our driveway, to see if we:  a) need milk; b) should order an extra pizza or c) have enough Midol in the house, before coming home from work.

FYI:  We have three people who are menstruating at the moment (you're welcome!) so, THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH MIDOL IN THE HOUSE!

"Actually, it's your brother's turn!"

Jersey Kids on Cape Rocks

No, my son is NOT menstruating (thank haven for small favors) but, the poor kid has three sisters (two  who are popping Midol, I mean) so, perhaps you'll understand why I can't help but be sensitive to the fact that the poor little dude often times feels like the odd man out. 

Aaaand he's ten, so he knows what the word menstruating means, anyway...no thanks to Garth [not his real name] damnit.

"OH, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, FLUSH THE DAMNED TOILET, ALREADY!"


Okay, so I sometimes forget other stuff, so what?

"Can JD sleep over?"

Sure, what's one more, right?  So, this morning, I was making with the pancakes, bacon and stuff, when I realized something.

[the sound of music playing]

Where the hell were the girls?  They're old enough to do stuff like this.  I mean, both of them have cooked breakfast, before.  Besides, I really had some work to catch up on and stuff.  So, I hung up my apron (no, I'm kidding, just one more thing to wash, in my opinion) I peeked into the living room.

"What are you guys doing?"

Picture this:  My two oldest, sitting in the middle of my favorite chair, surrounded by the three other kids.

Why?

Because, well, they didn't have their makeup on and I wasn't allowed to take a real one, picture, I mean...DUH!

"We're watching previews of the new Harry Potter movie!"

Uh-oh.

"Um...well...I've got a lot of work to do and stuff...and..."

[cut off in mid-ummm]

"Don't worry, we'll take them outside for you, Momma...we can always go to the movies, later."

[color me dumbfounded, again]

I don't know what I did (or, didn't do) but, I just had to share it with you guys (especially, my friends with little, little ones) because, I'm going down into the crawl space, to check for pods and, well, you just never really know, right?

"HEY...wait for me, you guys...Mommy's eyes are hurting, anyway!"

Besides, it is summertime and weird stuff like this happens, all the time, around here, in Jersey, you know?

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

It's a Nice Day for a Battleship Wedding

Batteship Cove

So, my kids made a list of things to do while away on our summer vacation (first family getaway in six years, btw) and my husband, Garth [not his real name] and I were pleasantly surprised to have checked off every single check box (even the "no arguing" one) except for one:

  • Aquarium (Boston)

As a slight compromise -- since, the kids didn't seem to mind our decision to stay on Cape and visit Provincetown, instead -- we promised our son (who was looking forward to checking out the USS Constitution, as well) to make a quick stop in Fall River, MA (birthplace of Emeril, YO!) and see just what the heck kind of boat is sitting out there, in the water, under the bridge, in Mount Hope Bay and all.

Continue reading "It's a Nice Day for a Battleship Wedding" »

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Our Pilgrimage into Provincetown

Provincetown Harbor
My favorite view of Provincetown, MA.

We're baaaa-aaaack!  What an AWESOME trip we had, too.  I'm STILL sorting through piles of dirty laundry, as we speak.  So, for your viewing pleasure, some highlights of the last days of our summer road trip through New England.

Provincetown Harbor Boardwalk
Day 7 - Provincetown is located way at the tip of Cape Cod, or "upper cape" as the locals call it.The girls were all like, "Wow, Provincetown has a boardwalk!"  Though, we couldn't find anyone selling any funnel cakes, or knew what the heck a "Zeppole" is (i.e. fried dough in Jersey) but, we did get a chance to eat at George's Pizza and, well, it really is the best pizza in P-town!

 

Provincetown Art
Day 7 - The weather was awesome (albeit, a bit on the chilly side) and Provincetown is filled with warm, bright, shiny and very colorful people!

 

Provincetown - Blueberry-Lane Pottery
Day 7 - We got a chance to meet fabulously talented artists like Paul Wisotzky, owner of Blueberry Lane Pottery and teacher at Truro Center for the Arts, who bravely choose to give live demonstrations of their work and patiently answer about eleventy-hundred questions (daily) like, "Don't your hands get awfully dry," and "What's hand lotion?"

 

Into the Provincetown tower 
Day 7 - Provincetown is also home to the Pilgrim Monument (built in 1910) to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in Provincetown in November 1620. Here the Pilgrims spent 5 weeks exploring the tip of Cape Cod (before sailing to Plymouth) and drew up and signed the Mayflower Compact.

 

Provincetown tower kids
Day 7 - The Pilgrim Tower is 250 feet high and almost 100 years old.  Heather and I opted out of the climb, about halfway up, due to some serious issues with having to climb 250 foot high 100 year-old towers and not realizing it until, you know, halfway up.

Provincetown Tower Streets
Day 7 - If you're planning a family vacation to Cape Cod (like these people, who were obviously on "vacation mode" and refused get out of my shot) I highly recommend a visit to Provincetown!  It's like one big fat street fair and history lesson all wrapped up in one!

Cape Cod Lighthouse at Hightower
Day 7 - The Cape Cod Lighthouse at Hightower is only a stone's throw away from Provincetown and open for a quick 20 minute tour, although we were ALL pretty much toured-out, by this point in the day.

Cape Cod Lighthouse Views
Day 7 - The kids were happy to be able stretch their legs (before getting back into the car, AGAIN!) and, well, just breath in the fresh salty air heavily infused with the scent of cranberry and rose hips -- someone needs to figure out how to bottle the stuff, seriously!

Cape Cod National Seashore dune grass
Day 7 - This vacation was all about relaxing and being able to partake in quiet little moments (like, chasing sea gulls and getting lost in all the dune grass) while we re-learn to enjoy each others company.  So, yeah, our trip to the Cape Cod National Seashore has paid off BIG TIME!
 
Next on tap:  Views from a Battleship Wedding!

Greetings from Cape Cod, MA!

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© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

[3/17/10:  Edited to Add - submitting this story to the travel site, Uptake.com

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.