BlogHer 2012. It all goes back to diapers.

My title isn’t great but forgive me because I am starved and exhausted.  In case you haven’t been following along- I spent the last few days in NYC attending the largest women’s blogging conference in. the. world.  There were around 5,000 women and only 5 muffins at BlogHer.  I kid.  Sort of.

Rockin Green Soap Love in NYC!

I am still in NYC so I haven’t even returned home to process the experience.  Let’s just write a few blurbs about the whole weekend and I’ll add more on the entire estrogen fest later.  I wouldn’t have been able to attend if it weren’t for Rockin’ Green Soap.  My trip rocked and so does their cloth diaper detergent!

Women everywhere!  Familiar faces, famous faces, nervous faces, angry faces, tired faces, and even sad faces.

Hugs.  Lots of them.  I hugged more people than I can count.  Calley from The Eco Chic, Julie from The Cloth Diaper Geek, Amanda from Eco Friendly Family, Jenny from Conscientious Confusion, Jenna from MommaWords, Jill from Baby Rabies, Gina from The Feminist Breeder, Suzanne from Behbehblog, Diana from Onya Baby, and so many more that I tired of typing.  All of the hugs were important so if your name wasn’t mentioned don’t be offended!

Top left: @EFFBLog, Middle Left: @OnyaBaby, Bottom Left: @ClothDiaperGeek, Right: Beth Terry

Diet.  I’m pretty sure I lost 15 pounds while attending.  The conference had a food shortage.  Last year they were shoving food down our throats but this year the food was few and far between.  When I did locate food someone came to chat and I forgot to eat.  Between walking around NYC and sweating in the humidity and the heat I know I lost weight.

Nice people.  Despite the fear that the “swag” crazy bloggers would trample me down I actually connected with dozens of amazing bloggers from many categories.  The conversation flowed faster than the alcohol.

Swag.  I didn’t bring much home so I either did it wrong or did it right.  The best swag I got included 3 eye masks (I can only sleep while wearing them) and chocolate.

Sessions?  This year I focused more on the networking aspect of BlogHer.  I attended Geek Bars, Keynotes, and Panels.  Just talking with other bloggers about the technical stuff in small groups and individually taught me so much!  This year BlogHer oversold the tickets because everything I attended was packed to the gills and had to be closed up.

Pain.  My back, my feet, and throat are sore and my tooth is throbbing!  My wisdom teeth have been threatening me for a while but I wanted to try and keep them.  I’ve either been nursing or pregnant for so long that I have avoided the issue.  Right now I can hardly open my mouth to eat and I get to meet with a dentist tomorrow to hear what will happen.  I’m afraid of the news and what this might mean for continuing to breastfeed since my 5 day absence is already going to be an issue as is.

Laughs.  Like- pee in my pants kind of laughing.  Between the hilarious posts that were read outloud during the Voices of the Year keynote (a major highlight for me), meeting hilarious women who are as funy in person as they are online (HaHas for HooHas, visit them now please and laugh your butt off), and just being goofy with the many friends in attendance I probably laughed harder than I have in years.

Cloth Diapers!  It all goes full circle to diapers.  After seeing my blog name or my “I Love Cloth Diapers” button I was able to have real conversations with real people about my passion.  I spent half an hour laying on an adjustable bed in the Expo Hall talking to two handsome men with pregnant wives about why they should switch.  As always I calculated my approach since one man came out of the gate declaring a “never ever ever” but he is looking into GroVia Hybrids now at least.  Another evening I was out to dinner with Cloth Diaper Geek and our new friends Jen and Anna from HaHas for HooHas and we talked diapers, homebirth, breastfeeding, vaccines, and more diapers.  My party trick is always to fold a cloth napkin into a diaper.  Every conversation ended up going to diapers and it was usually not even my suggestion.  But hey…. I’m totally cool with it!

The networking was by far the best part of my experience and I am walking away knowing so many people I want to build a connection with for the blog and beyond.  The parties, the sight seeing, the sessions, the celebrities, the swag…..  these don’t even compare to having real world interactions with people you admire.  At times you can start to doubt yourself when you are in the company of such intelligent and influential women (I’m looking at you Annie from PhD in Parenting and Gina from The Feminist Breeder) but BlogHer has inspired me to sit down and take a hard look at what DDL will become when my life moves out of the diaper phase.  And no, I’m not just going to have another baby to keep reviewing diapers!

I’ll have many more topics coming soon from BlogHer because I’m filled with people, ideas, products, stories, and photos I need to share.  Did you know Dirty Diaper Laundry is mentioned in another book?  Yeah!  I met with the author and got a signed copy!  I’m going to start reading Plastic-Free by Beth Terry on the plane home.  I’m hoping when we get settled I’ll be back to more consistent blogging and reviews so please, if you are waiting on reviews or cloth diaper information subscribe to me by email and be notified right when I post!

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