Conference and Book Blogger Shenanigans

Last Monday I was off to meet up with my friend Erin and head to the airport. We were on different flights, but headed to the same conference on Library Marketing and Communication in Dallas, Texas. I was glad to have Erin with me as I had worked myself into a tizzy that I would look like a meandering idiot in the airport.

I didn’t look like a meandering idiot, or, rather, most people look like meandering idiots, stressed business men, or exhausted travelers. Erin was off on her flight and mine was delayed. No worries. The people watching was prime and I buried my nose in a book. Towards evening I boarded my flight. I easily fit into my seat and although I needed the seat belt extender I purchased I had to tighten it quite a bit. I probably could have squeezed into my seat. My big girl flying freakout was totally not necessary.

Flying was glorious. The lights outside were twinkling and I saw the sun set while over the clouds. Everything was rose-hued, then blue, then deepened in to an inky darkness punctured by lights and wisps of cloud. My face was glued to the window for at least an hour. It was beautiful.

I felt like Harry on the train to Hogwarts. There you have it. I am a twelve-year old.

When I arrived Andi was there to meet me. I’ve known Andi for over a decade, but this was our first meeting in person. Guess what? It didn’t feel like a first meeting at all. It was like picking right back up with a friend I was chatting with last week. Comfortable. Welcoming. We talked and laughed the entire way home. Okay, honestly Andi listened to me talk her ear off. I was quite chatty.

After she picked me up we were off to grab Amanda from her hotel. Then it was off for Indian food, Chicken Korma for all of us, and more gabbing. We dropped Amanda off and made the trek back to Andi’s. Her kiddo even let me use his room which was resplendent in Spider-Man decor. Atticus would have been jealous. Andi even left a thoughtful pillow on my bed. Ha!

mondayThe next morning I was off to the conference. I went to sessions on gathering data to make marketing decisions, developing an annual marketing road map, working with other departments to create content, and budget-wise branding. The morning’s keynote from David Lee King offered a great introduction for effectively using social media to create customer connections. Lunch was great; I ate with Erin and other librarians from Georgia.

After a full day of conference I was a bit overwhelmed with information and little sleep. I succeeded in walking straight past Amanda and Andi in the parking lot. They circled around and found me and we were off to Half Price Books. That store was HUGE. I behaved and only purchased three books. My phone was dead and I was wandering around in a daze and, once again, Andi and Amanda had to hunt me down and tell me it was time for dinner. I swear I need a toddler leash. On the dinner menu was Tex-Mex. It was delicious.

The last day of the conference contained a keynote about connecting to multicultural patrons and sessions on branding, planning and collaborating on social media and advertising, and marketing for small academic libraries. I ate lunch with Susie from readsusieread! Bloggers and vloggers everywhere!

That night I was picked up by Amanda and Andi and we went to meet up with Trish at a pub house. The food was great, but I still say Georgia wins at Southern fried chicken and tea. We ate too much, laughed a ton, and stayed out late. It was wonderful.

moredallas

When I arrived back to Andi’s house I realized my phone was going dead so often because my charger died. That meant a quick trip to Walmart for a new charger before spending the morning chatting with Andi and her super sweet husband, David. Then Andi took me to the airport and I was off to Georgia.

evenmoredalls

I arrived back in Georgia to gray drippy weather and was so happy to see Sam and the kids. Sam SHAVED OFF HIS BEARD while I was gone and started blogging (whaaa???). And, as expected, Persy Jane was completely done with nursing.

This weekend it was back to the generally quiet, but busy daily life: grocery shopping, cooking, knitting, waking with kids at 6am and playing, coffee, ballet lessons, and tot meltdowns (that’s the not quiet part). It was so lovely to learn so much about libraries, hang with great friends, spend time on my own being a grown ass woman, and hold my family close. I’m back at work today and going through interlibrary loan requests and sorting out travel reimbursement paperwork. Back to the grind, but already looking forward to figuring out when to hang with my book blogger peeps next.

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8 comments

  1. I saw all of your pictures and was SO jealous! I need to find a reason to travel more to meet all my blogger friends. I am so glad you had a wonderful time and were able to get away for learning and fun. Plus, your husband’s post about you? It brought me to tears, girl. You are one lucky woman.

  2. What a great time you had! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few blog friends in person and it’s always great! Over the summer, I drove with the hubby and baby to meet another blogger who was visiting NY. We met up with her, her hubby and baby too. I was so nervous ahead of time, but like you said, it feels just like hanging out with an old friend.

    I am so glad that you had such a wonderful time. Sometimes it is so nice to get away!

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