Friendships are Bliss
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 by {darlene}

I had a fantastic time at the Blissdom conference this past weekend.

I am always surprised, again and again, at the friendships that I solidify and begin at blogging conferences. Maybe it has something to do with our shared love for blogland, in combination with the fact that the entire place is filled with creative souls.

Blissdom was no exception to this friendship-of-bloggers rule. This was my first year, and it was such warm, friendly, fun, and inspiring event. I will definitely look forward to future years of Bliss.

The sessions were amazing and I especially loved the keynotes by Jon Acuff and Scott Stratten. Both of them had me laughing in stitches. But this pregnant lady nearly peed when Jon Acuff shared about how he was wearing “man spanx” around his torso that evening, and he compared the process of removing said-Spanx to “opening up a can of biscuits.” Such a sad, true, true tale.

But enough about business.

The fact of the matter is, I go to these conferences to foster friendships {some call it this boring word: networking}, and I always leave with even more. And I made some truly special friendships this weekend.

My Roomies: Edie, Ruth, and Heather {and my pregnant self in 4 inch heels, sequin leggings, and a 5 lb. necklace}:


{image snagged from Edie}

My roomies were amazing. AMAZING. Not only did they take in a gal they had never met before {me}, but they were so much fun. We all instantly clicked. I felt like I had hit the Roommate Jackpot.

And Edie. Can you even believe that this was the first time I met Miss Edie? The first time I hugged her neck? And when we first saw each other, there was the biggest-little-screach in all of Texas. She is simply the warmest, most genuine spirit. I have loved her for years, especially with all the time we spent on her designs and the following BHG coverage, but to see that she is EXACTLY what she seems to be online … well, I love her all the more!

Ruth and I were meant to meet! She is so much fun, and full of life and laughter; my kinda gal. I am so glad we are friends – there will be NO shortage of silliness when we hang. More to come on this, but Ruth and I have a BRILLIANT series idea up our sleeves. If you believe I could collaborate with a frugal blogger….

Heather has the kind of awesome down-to-earth-ed-ness that instantly makes you feel at ease. And it is a good thing we had her there to organize our flaky butts. If not for Heather, I would still be wondering around the Gaylord Texan Hotel trying to find my room. And she is SO going to be helping me with some bloggy blog changes around here, as she is a talented coder and designer with a gift for being all around awesome.

My new friend Karin:

Friendships are bliss

{thank goodness for those instagram pics}

Have you ever met someone, and after your first conversation, you knew you should really be friends with that person? And after your second conversation, you knew you were MEANT to be friends with that person? That is Karin.

She has an amazing blog with fantastic tips about family life, homeschool, and supporting your hubby. Even more significant, this girl has an AMAZING soul, an amazing spirit, and a richly deep testimony. We bonded over everything from chickens to childhood, from shopping to decorating, and from pregnancies to homeschooling to chocolate. Karin, I am so so glad to know you!

My forever-friend Logan:


{imagine me and Logan. mouths open. heads back. laughing. looking ridiculous.}

Logan is the kind of friend where you leave a conference and you NEVER have a pic of the two of you…. you are too busy laughing and running around and laughing and commiserating. I don’t get to see Logan enough! I just love that girl! Anyone who can share about the hospitality of Christ as displayed by the armless-legless knight from Monty Python. Well, now. That’s my kinda gal.

I will get to see Logan again at the Allume Conference {are you going?}, but that is not soon enough for me!

* * *

I spent the most Blissdom time with those gals, but I also got to hang with {not NEARLY enough} some friends who I still never get enough chatting-time with. Like these fantastic peeps: Jen {my fun roomie at Allume last year}, Lindsey, Stephanie, and Shaun.

And I am telling you. I met SO MANY awesome NEW friends. I immediately adored Holly, Jana, EmilyLisa, Rachel, Melissa, and Lauren. These are FUN ladies, with genuine spirits!

Here are a few more pics for your perusal pleasure:

Me and Chris Mann:


{thanks Leigh! check out my belly, folks}

Those of you who follow me on Facebook {which you totally should, by the way} know that Chris Mann {the talented singer who has risen to fame after his amazing appearance on the Voice} is engaged to my cousin. Granted, my second-cousin-once-removed, or something like that. But my cuz never the less.

I welcomed Chris to the family and harassed him heavily for not accepting my friend request on Facebook. The nerve.

But y’all. This fella can SING. And he can sing LIVE. No computer generation needed for this talented singer. SO glad I got to hear him sing in person.

Finally. The ever-important urinal transformation:


When there are that many women in a conference, something must be done to multiply the bathroom spaces. {I am officially damaging my “classy” factor. I have now featured urinals AND bidets on my blog}.

This vignette made me smile big. Now THAT is some GOOD decorating. You can ditto that one, and take it to the bank.

* * *

I almost did not go to Blissdom.

I am SO SO glad that I did. The biz motivation was great, but it was really all about the friendships. Because Friendships are Bliss, and they are worth the effort.

{Miss you all already!}

Do you put effort into fostering friendships in your life? When was the lasts time you opened yourself up to a new friend?


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  • So, that whole long post and what I take-away is clicking back to the bidet post because I must have missed it somehow! I have totally wanted one of those for years! Glad you got to experience the more luxurious side of pottying overseas. Our overseas travel experience was to China and believe me, I didn’t come home thinking we should re-design our bathroom to add a squatty potty :) Anyway, glad you had a wonderful time and I LOVE the baby bump!

  • It was so great to meet you! I have been looking at your website daily, there is so much great information here. I can’t wait to sign up for my Skype consult – going over to do that right now.

  • This sounds like so much fun! Hoping to get to go to a blog conference in years to come.

  • You roomed with Edie? So jealous. I enjoyed your contagious smile all weekend. You are a sweetheart. Would have loved to have been able to spend more than three seconds photographing you in the hallway, but that’s the nature of being a photographer at a conference. :) Maybe next year I can visit with you longer!

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