First things first: that’s a vodka tonic in my hand. I couldn’t get a martini at this particular function. Sadly. Other than that, though, Mom 2.0 was a complete and total success.
The summit kicked off with a “Mad Men”-themed cocktail party on Thursday night. My dress is vintage J. Crew (really and truly, you all — the dress is from 1988, which makes it vintage, and makes me old). Those are my mother’s pearls; they are also vintage, but of a much earlier vintage than the dress, like somewhere in the 1950s (which makes my mother stylish but not old, in case she’s reading this).
My weekend wasn’t all vodka tonics and vintage dresses, as wonderful as that would have been. Julie and I wandered away from the Thursday night party to have a Serious Talk about the State of Mom Blogs (we also ran around like a couple of high school kids trying to find two extra drink tickets, but that’s another story that I am not telling here).
You think I’m kidding about the Serious Talk, but I am not — we sat on those stairs for I don’t know how long with those very intense faces and talked about how blogging has changed in the past five years, until eventually someone pointed out that our drinks were empty and the party was over.
(Aside: please note both that I am wearing very high heels and that Julie and I are both sitting like ladies even though we’re on the floor. And OMG her hat! Is that the best hat ever? I’m still kicking myself for not swiping it from her luggage.)
Mom 2.0 was two and a half days of smart women saying smart things. It was exhilarating, honestly. And while we were getting smarter, we also picked up a few pretty things, too. Who says smart girls can’t also enjoy pretty stuff? Not me. At check in, we each got a fabulous Lands’ End canvas boat tote, in Kirtsy blue.
Speakers were greeted with beautiful toiletry bags from Cambria Cove, which of course just made me want to pack my bag and go somewhere else. Like Mom 2.0 2011! New Orleans here I come. Who’s in?
We stayed — and summited — at the Four Seasons in Houston. I cannot imagine a better location, at least in terms of the hotel. Everything was perfect, down to the amenities.
Is there anything better that wee little bottles of your favorite bath products? The Four Seasons totally had my number with these minis of L’Occitane’s Verbena shower gel and lotion. I may have swiped all of the lotions. Possibly. In fact, I may have hidden them from Heather because I love me some great citrus-y lotion.
Heather and I took advantage of the hotel’s lovely spa, and had lava stone pedicures on Thursday afternoon; I went with Spa Ritual’s matte polish in Body for my toes. It’s black! So cool. Spa Ritual’s polishes are DBP, Formaldehyde, and Toluene-free; they’re also vegan. Who knew there were vegan nail polishes! Not me. My feet have never been so happy.
Mom 2.0 wasn’t all pedicures and fancy lotion, though. Heather and I got up on Friday morning and put on our Smart Faces and got some coffee and settled back to listen and think. Although I think we’re acually making lunch plans here. No, wait, I’m sure we were listening. Or talking about how Heather is going to write a book and I’m going to organize her book tour. Although she’ll have to make all the travel arrangements because I suck at that.
My panel was Friday, and yes, I did tell everyone that I still have a fully decorated Christmas tree in my playroom, because that seemed like a good way to kick off the discussion on clearing the clutter. Please note that I am still wearing the heels; I wore them all day long, and my feet were pretty happy until about 4:00 pm, at which point I wandered barefoot into the lobby to talk to Wade on the phone. Klassy.
On Friday night, Danielle arranged for a group of us to eat at T’Afia. It’s a beautiful restaurant and the food is incredible — we had chorizo stuffed figs wrapped in bacon, which were easily one of the three most delicious things I have ever eaten. Ever. In my life. EVER. Monica Pope is T’Afia’s chef; to say that she’s a genius doesn’t go far enough. My whole weekend was filled with wonderful women doing amazing things. Perfect.
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Mom 2.0 wasn’t all about swag and shoes. In fact, until my feet started to hurt, I didn’t think twice about my shoes, and the swag was lovely but I would have traded it all to hear Gretchen Rubin talk about The Happiness Project, and to listen Maggie and Gabby and Heather theorize what Mom 2.1 might look like. Fortunately, I didn’t have to.
Thank goodness, because I really like that Verbena lotion.
In my life, I have friends who are kind and generous and funny, and friends who inspire me to get up earlier and work harder and be smarter. And there is a small group of women who do both at once, who make me laugh until I cry and then, in the same conversation, walk me through updating WordPress or or advise me about pitching an ad network or encourage me to plan a project. Nearly all those women — the ones who make me snort and make me think, all at once — were in Houston this weekend.
I came home full of plans and ideas and strategies; I’ve been writing things down — on paper, even — and mapping out my Next Big Thing. I wish I had a simple five-point summary to share with you, but other than learning that you should never use more than two fonts for your web site (thanks, Laurie!) most of what I heard is still percolating, in my head and in my heart.
At the end of the last session, the incredibly fabulous Laura Mayes got up to draw names for various prizes. She pulled one business card after another out of the bowl, only to find that none of those people were still in the room. And because she is smart and funny, she made a joke about it — “You have to be present to win. That’s how the world works” — but really, that summed up the entire weekend for me. Succeeding is about being present — not necessarily at Mom 2.0, but in your life, in your projects.
I feel very present after this weekend. And it’s a good, good feeling.
Photos from the “Mad Men” party were taken by the very very talented Sarah Hubbell.