So much has happened in the past two days, my head is sort of spinning. I’ve been looking forward to Mom 2.0 for a year and now it’s come to an end. The conference ended tonight with the famed Iris Awards where bloggers, influencers, photographers and writers were awarded for excellence.
And guess who was the surprise host at the Iris Awards?
Yep, remember this crazy guy from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Alfosno was just as hilarious and fun in person as he is on TV.
It’s currently 11:05 pm West Coast time and 2:05 am East Coast time. I’m sitting in my hotel room all packed up and ready to head to the airport at 5:00 am. There’s so much I could share about my last 2.5 days here in Southern California. It’s kind of hard to condense the experience into a blog post, but here’s a little snippet to show you how much life can be packed in just a couple of days.
It started Wednesday at 4:00 am in my hotel in Charlotte. I get up every day at 5:00 am but for some reason, that one hour of extra sleep does wonders. Wow, 4:00 feels insanely early. When the wake up call cam into to the room, it was quite jarring. This is me shortly after hearing, “Hello! This is your wake up call! Hello! This is your wake up call! Hello! This is your wake up call!”
The next hour involved jabbing my eye with my finger nail, sprinting downstairs barely catching the early shuttle to the airport and sitting beside a man who immediately fell asleep and snored until we pulled up to the terminal.
My first priority at the airport was finding coffee and once I did that, I was good to go. The very long airplane ride to the West Coast was actually quite enjoyable. I listened to The Lumineers, Bob Dylan and Jetty Rae (my new favorite female musician) on my phone with earbuds, used my laptop to work on an upcoming story and prepped my brand new Bullet Journal.
Once I arrived at the airport, I met with some of my favorite blogging friends so we could all catch an Uber to the Ritz-Carlton together. My sister used to live in San Diego, so I’ve been to Southern California before but man, I forget how absolutely gorgeous it is out here. After checking in our room and picking up our registration information, we took in the beautiful view that was before us.
Something about this place is completely mesmerizing. Before doing anything related to the conference, we spent time soaking up the sun and scenery. The opening party was a Boho Beach party where we were given flowers to wear in our hair. As someone who was born in the wrong era, this made me very happy. It felt good nurture my inner hippie for a while. Further, the food, company and cocktails were amazing, and the sunset was simply stunning.
One of the most inspiring moments over the past two days was hearing Soledad O’Brien speak about owning what’s fabulous about oneself. Women especially have trouble spreading their wings and touting their achievements and strengths. Why do we do that? Her talk was so uplifting, not only to those listening but also in relation to raising young girls and instilling the right type of confidence in them.
Dove is the big partner sponsor with Mom 2.0, and they have spoiled us rotten. They had an entire suite where for two days, they did our hair, offered champagne, and massaged our feet. They know how hard moms work professionally and personally, and it was so nice to be pampered for a little while. We also learned about Dove’s self-esteem workshops for young girls. I love this initiative they have created.
And of course, the highlight of every blogging conference is seeing friends that I rarely see in person. These women have become such an integral part of my life. They encourage and inspire me. They make me laugh and smile. Here are a few of my favorite gals that I unfortunately only see when we all come together a few times a year at events such as Mom 2.0.
Knowing today was our last day, a couple of gals and I spent some time on the beach this afternoon. A friend caught me staring out into the ocean. I was in deep thought. In fact, I’ve been in deep thought the entire time I’ve been here. Professionally, I’ve got some new plans for the blog which I’m very excited about, and personally, I’m determined to bring happy back into my spirit.
So long, California. You’ve been so healing and soothing to my soul. I will be seeing you again!