Well, it’s that time of year again…

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ January 26-28, 2010

Yes, ’tis the season for my faithful ‘Bloomr Nation to once again summon all of the patience and Christian charity within them as they grit their collective teeth and try to tolerate my endless yammering about going to yet another blogging conference! And then, once it’s over you get to read my breathless post-conference account replete with all kinds of personal epiphanies and effusive descriptions of Fabulous! New! Bloggy Friends! Can I get a woot-woot?!

For those of you who are new to this phenomenon, here’s a little peek into the tangled netherworld of my thought processes re: conferences:

  • First, I dither back and forth about whether I am actually going to go or not. “We really don’t need to spend the money, the timing sucks because Russ will have just gotten back from Mexico City and it’s a really busy week, do I really need to go this year,” yada yada yada. I would say that this little exercise is a complete waste of time because I always inevitably end up going, but truth be told, last summer I actually sold my ticket to BlogHer ’10 in New York just two weeks before the conference– so apparently I am capable of talking myself out of it! (However, I am totally going to Blissdom. Unless I weenie out in like, the next 24 hours. Which won’t happen. Probably.)
  • Next, I agonize over whether or not I’m going to stay at the hotel (Gaylord finally re-opened  Opryland Hotel after the flood damage, YAY!) or drive back and forth from Brentwood. This is a toughie, because it is hard for me to justify paying for a room (albeit at reduced conference rates) when I have a whole dang house just about 20, 25 minutes away. HOWEVER, with some Blissdom activities starting at around 7 a.m. (or so I’ve heard– I haven’t actually ever made it to one of those power walk/exercise first-thing-in-the-morning deals) and going until kinda late at night, it is massively more convenient to actually be on site as opposed to fighting rush hour traffic back and forth, not to mention trying to find a parking place in the approximately 50 frillion mile expanse that is the Opryland Hotel. I think I may have reached a compromise– last year I stayed all three nights, this time I’m just staying for one. Possibly two. OK, I’m still agonizing.
  • And finally, we come to the Obsessing Over What To Wear part of our program. I’ve gotten WAY better at this one! I’m finally figuring out two very important things: A) NO ONE REALLY CARES and B) everyone else at the conference, to varying degrees, is worrying about the exact same thing! Seriously, if you google Blissdom you will see endless blog posts and articles dedicated to this very issue. It’s a very specific female kind of insecurity– nobody wants to feel out of place or frumpy or over/under-dressed or stick out like a sore thumb or wear something that screams NEWBIE. I’m not proud of the fact that I’m not immune to those feelings, but thankfully I’ve kind of gotten this part down– I’m packing jeans, sweaters, jackets, a slightly more dressy nighttime outfit and lots of accessories. Being the grizzled veteran that I am, I also know from experience that footwear is a major component of the entire conference experience. Much ado is made every year about the abundance of  Cute Shoes that abound at Blissdom. Entire photostreams are dedicated to the subject in the many, many recap posts that pop up everywhere after the event. This, however, is where being on the *ahem* slightly older end of the age demographic pays off. I’m not quite as tempted to sacrifice comfort for the siren call of a brand new pair of high-heeled Cute Shoes now as I might have been in my twenties. But hey, I am not quite at the rubber-soled orthopedic footwear end of the spectrum (yet.) I do have a couple of pairs of Cute Boots that I can walk around in all day without wincing. Wanna see?

Oh, dear God.

Did I just actually post PICTURES OF MY SHOES on my blog, for crying out loud ???? This is an all-time narcissistic low, even by my subterranean standards. I apologize from the bottom of my heart, readers. I’m sorry you had to see that.

Moving on.

Anyway, even though I still go through all of the stages I just mentioned, and even though pinning on that name tag and walking into the hotel ballroom for the first session still makes me feels like I’m standing alone in the middle school lunchroom clutching my tray and trying to find a friendly face to sit by… this conference is really, really good, and well worth enduring my annual short-lived spazz-out. It’s just eternally surprising to me that lurking beneath my talkative, show-offy, never-met-a-stranger self there is apparently a big ol’ introvert that comes out at the most inopportune times!

I’m sure I’ll be posting from the conference so, you know, you’ve all got THAT to look forward to. I’ll have my new Mac (which shall henceforth be referred to by her full name, ‘What The Nell’) with me at all times– I even ordered a fabulous new rolling, detachable computer/brief case thingy which just came in yesterday:

Genius, right? That’s another thing I learned at my very first conference: 3 days of schlepping a laptop around = me looking a little like this:

Well, I’ll take my literary leave now so I can start stressing over dealing with all of the advance planning it takes for The Mom to be out of the house for two and a half days! Ya’ll might want to pray about starting a casserole brigade for Russ and the girls. Just saying.

20 Responses

  1. LindaB

    Okay,….I’m gonna ask the obvious—–WHY in the world would YOU be spazzing out about attending a BLOGGY affair, Ms. Personality, who never met a person who didn’t love you forever?? And wears over the top cute boots?? And writes like a son-of-gun?? This is one for Dr. Phil! Beats me!

    Just go……be yourself…..relax…..and enjoy being in a cool hotel with no kids about, no laundry, and no meals to prepare or clean up after!! And listening to lots of interesting bloggy info and meeting hip young bloggers like yourself. And bring back some fun insights for us rubber soled orthopedic footwear fans.

  2. LindaB

    Oh……and tell us what you ate and take pictures, please?

  3. jonny

    Of her eating ??

  4. bettyrwoodward

    You know you’ll love it once you get over those early day nerves so relax and enjoy. Then we can relax and enjoy all the blogs about it!

  5. MostlySunny

    Have fun…you always do! Yes, do send pictures of food.

    Love the briefcase. Mine is very similar but in red. Love how it zips in and out. Mine’s sitting right next to be now as I sip my hot chocolate in Starbucks and work on my Sunday School lesson on my (very old) Mac.

    A little slow this morning (me, not my Mac)..up late last night watching, cringing, then celebrating our Pittsburgh Steelers win…Superbowl bound!

    Didn’t comment on the last post but the picture from the kitchen window is great! I’ve never seen anything like it; so many beautiful birds! Truly amazing.

    Again, have fun!

  6. LindaB

    No jonny, not of her eating! I’ve seen her eating and she eats just like we do! I mean I would like to see pictures of FOOD…….interesting, gourmet-looking restaurant faire. I’m into that sort of thing.

  7. Gramma Jac

    Tori, I too want to hear it all!!

    Side note: MostlySunny,I know I’ve mentioned this before, but a reminder,…I’m from Wisconsin so back the, ahem, Packers!! Ahead of time I just want to say,….friends regardless of outcome? Right?!!


  8. jonny

    What about before and after shots of the ‘interesting, gourmet-looking restaurant faire’ ?? Before a spoon, knife or fork touches it, then out of her mouth AFTER she’s chewed on it a bit… ?? = )

  9. MostlySunny

    Gramma Jac – Oh, absolutely! Friends no matter what! But I gotta tell ya, we’ll be screamin’ or heads off here in Pittsburgh for your team to have a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day” on February 6th! Then we’ll get over it and continue on with hockey.

    P.S. My kids loved me to read that book to them when they were little – “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.” Just popped into my head…

  10. KellyBurton

    You big, lovable dork: Strap on your snazzy boots and some colorful jewelry, flip your blond hair rock-video-style, grab your ADORABLE new bag, leave the take-out menus on the kitchen counter, and go have FUN! You are Unicorn Tori…you BRING the fun!

  11. KellyBurton

    PS: I NEED to know where you got the bag. Rod bought me one for my birthday, but I had to return it to the BEST BUY. (Bless his heart, it was so hideous…)

  12. tori

    Linda: I DON’T KNOW WHY I GET ALL SPAZZY!!! Some latent pocket of immaturity, I guess. It seems to pass pretty quickly, though. Kinda. (And you KNOW I’ll take pictures of any interesting meals…)

    jonny: Not actually EATING– just a picture of my plate, right before I destroy it. It’s a foodie thing, I guess. Although when I write it out like this, it sounds really weird.

    bettyrwoodward: You’re right, I’ll eventually get over myself and I WILL have a good time!

    MostlySunny– Oooh, red would be pretty! Where have these kind of cases been all my life? I think that whole detachable thing is such a good idea. Yeah, the birds are amazing at mom’s house! (And… Go Steelers? I guess since the Titans crapped out early I don’t really have a dog in this fight!)

    GrammaJac: Oh you know me, you’ll hear it all even if you don’t ask!

    jonny: Don’t tempt me, sir. (One of my favorite lines from Spinal Tap)

    KellyBurton: I sure wish you were going with me– we could do some damage. I emailed you all the deets about the case. And yeah, husbands really don’t need to try to pick out that kind of stuff, bless ‘em. I’d probably suck at choosing golf clubs.

  13. Craig

    I’d leave a longer comment – but I’m here at Blissdom and it’s 2:40 and I’m exhausted from registering :) Looking forward to what I can learn from you.

  14. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Glad to see those snazzy, comfortable boots. I seem to remember one very important thing you talked about after the session last year….and that was that you must remember to wear comfortable shoes. Wish I knew how to ship a casserole…..but they could come on down here and stay with me. Yep, that sounds like a plan.

  15. LindaB

    I meant “intricate” beauty! But you knew that, didn’t you?

  16. LindaB

    OMG! I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING! Tori—–is the lady who created “Between Naps on the Porch” there??? If she is, please please please get a picture of her and tell her I love her!

  17. jonny

    I’m not sure if one requires a facebook account to check this out, but I believe it’s worth checking out if one is able to…


  18. Renee Fisher

    I love your boots! I seriously believe that as we age, the importance of shoes cannot be understated. I am on a perpetual hunt for fabulously cute, comfortable shoes. And, until my boobs get so low as to obliterate my feet, I will continue the quest.

  19. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Jonny dear, that is the way I start my day each morning….right after a cup of oatmeal.

    That was cute, sweet pea.

  20. jonny

    I thought that was how you got to your oatmeal every morning… = /

    @Renee: I’ll resist temptation, be a gentleman of sorts, and not ask; but, I do hope you have a few good quest years left !! = )

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