I am glad I went into EVO Conference 2012 without expectations. It would have been easy to go expecting it to top EVO Conference 2011, but that wouldn’t be fair because in so many way I am a different person and blogger than I was just a year ago.
Last year EVO was my second conference, and my first conference that was over the course of a weekend. Prior to that, I had only attended Bloggy Boot Camp, which while amazing is very different than spending an entire weekend immersed in the blog world. Last year I had no idea what to expect, and I let EVO happen to me. It was honestly one of the most eye opening weekends I had had, that when I later attending Blogher and even Blissdom, I had expectations that weren’t fair to have.
EVO is a conference that can’t be compared to other, even previous years. The founders Rachael from Today’s Mama and Jyl from Mom it Forward have found a balance in this conference that creates unique memories for each and every attendee. After Blissdom in February (which I did enjoy a lot), I learned the valuable lesson that going into conferences with expectations can leave you looking for something and missing what is right in front of you.
You simply can not attend a conference like EVO and expect an experience, but rather you have to go in and allow the experience to happen to you.
This was my first conference that I attended pregnant. It was in many ways a blessing, because being pregnant really forced me to sit back and watch others, and in doing so I made connections I am 100% sure I would have missed. I will admit, I did miss zip-lining and riding the roller coaster this year, but even that allowed me to have conversations with people I may have missed had I been on them.
I made many new friends, and connected with old friends. It was my goal this year to be open and present in the moments and relaxed atmosphere created by the Canyons, and in doing so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself renewed in my own work.
During the time I spent with people I had never met or connected with before I found an energy that inspired me with every new conversation. As I listened to women share the passion and excitement they had toward their blogs, work, and lives, I was surprised to find renewed energy for my own passions and work.
In my heart I know it is the amazing energy of EVO that allowed me to walk away so refreshed and excited about the possibilities in front of me. All of this because I went into the conference with no expectations, and rather allowed EVO to happen to me.
In past conferences I was so caught up in the should dos, that I never paused to see what was right there. This time I even managed to find time to reflect, and meditate. 30 glorious minutes of sitting and enjoying where I was at that moment. It is amazing what even those few minutes of calm did for my soul.
I attended several wonderful sessions, but like last year I had a favorite. Writing & Publishing sponsored by Parents.com was exactly where I needed to be. It is a goal of mine to begin freelancing and writing for big name publications. I love to write, and to be able to share it in print and online publications I love and currently read would be amazing. Thank you Ellen Seidman and Heather Morgan Shott for sharing not only your knowledge, but also the passion for what you do. Hands down, the best run, and most informative session I attended at the conference.
I certainly had a lot of fun, and enjoyed being downright goofy at times! These lovely ladies were my posse at EVO this year, you know if I had a posse! We had a blast being silly and sharing our experiences together! You can find Amy (in the middle, but not the bear) at Oh So Savvy Mom, and Lolo (Left) at Crazy about My Baybah.
Thank you to all the fabulous sponsors and your awesome suites! I spent many a minute in them playing, relaxing, and of course having fun!
I even met my twin who apparently lives in Utah! I did feel bad though, she was called Emily a lot at EVO and there are two big issues with that… 1. She is way cuter! 2. She is NOT pregnant… Thankfully Shannon has an amazing sense of humor, and is stunningly sarcastic (just the way I like it… maybe we are twins…) You can find her at Lucky Red Hen. She is awesome and so is her blog!
I’d like to thank Kathy Dalton whom I met 3 years ago at the ABC Expo. She encouraged me to attend my first EVO, and without her I am certain my blog would not be where it is today. She is pretty much the kindest person I know. I love her! If you have met her, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t met her, SEEK HER OUT! She blogs at Danish Mama.
I had to share the ghost picture of her, or is it her amazing Aura?? You be the judge…
I also want to thank McDonald’s for sponsoring my trip. I attended as part of the Family Arches Community. I really can not say enough amazing things about the McDonalds team and also the Family Arches Community. They are looking to connect with more bloggers, so make sure you register today!! Then please check out my post about EVO on the Family Arches Community Blog!
Next year, my baby will be 7 months old. I hope to bring him to the conference and once again allow EVO to happen to me.
Will I see you there next year?
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