Talking to Strangers: BlogHer13 Random Shtuff I Learned

Well it has been over a month now since I attended BlogHer13 and this post is ohhhhh about a week late and I missed one of my four blog posts I had planned…but oh man life just took off and I was treading water…akaNoTimeToWrite.  Things have settled down now and I am not exactly floating along with a mini umbrella, fruit embellished drink in hand but I’m not gasping for air as my arms flail like a mad women just trying to keep from sinking.

So lets do this!

The last of my Talking to Strangers BlogHer 13 posts number three in a four three part series!


I had no expectations and no real goals for what I was going to accomplish when I headed to BlogHer13.  I was happy that way.  Going into a hugmongous conference I didn’t want any pressure on myself.  I knew the size of the conference, the number of bloggers there and the experience would be enough pressure.   As usual, I had no idea how much I would learn about myself!

Besides being knocked over the head by life with amazing lessons about myself and even with those two very moving experiences…Talking to Strangers: BlogHer13 A New Inner Beauty and Talking to Strangers: BlogHer13 Table of One (one would think that those would be enough) I found my days…and nights (BlogHer seriously is NON-stop) filled with fantastic random lessons from old friends and new ones too.

I give you…


I learned that now that I have met Kirsten from the Kir Corner and Mel from According to Mags I can not longer read their blog posts without  reading them in a strong Boston / New York accent.  Also, Mel texts with an accent too!

I learned I could just sit on a couch, on a beach, on a park bench and just…be with Kirsten.  Her warmth and genuineness and heart is as wonderful as you would expect!  Just being with her makes you happy!

I learned you never know who you are going to meet or what they are going to teach you.  Joanne from Tiniest Tiger  and Rachel from Preston Speaks  taught me that no matter how much you know or how successful you are people are willing to take time to talk to you,  get to know you and share what they know with you.

I learned to never underestimate where your greatest lessons are going to come from… one of my BIGGEST lessons came from Joanne  and Rachel.  I never in a gazillion years would have guessed or predicted that I would learn so very much from two amazingly fantastic bloggers who share their stories about their pets.

I learned that lessons can come from girl talk and a couch in the middle of the Verizon section at the Expo.  Jackie from a With Just a Little Bit of Magic laid back style and years of motherhood experience taught me that I need to keep embracing Olivia for exactly who she is and there are many different ways and activities that our children can do to teach them what we want them to learn.  Sometimes our way is not the only way…just go with it!

I learned that I can run farther then I thought I could.  Running the 5k along the Chicago lake front gave me a pace I never knew I had.  The pace to take me farther then just a 5k.  A pace that didn’t leave me sucking wind or doubled over with wobbly legs.  A pace that would take me on more and more runs, farther and farther, that would make running…fun!

I learned that friends I have met through blogging are just as amazing  as a I thought they would be.  The journeys I have taken with many of these woman on their blogs has all been worth it.  That the relationships we have built in this space are just as important to them as they are to me.  That the connections in this space can become in real life friendships.

I learned that I am a vault of Random SHtuff… from facts and tidbits (TONS of facts and tidbits) about people I have chatted with on twitter to random bits of information about bloggers to ooohhh she writes “this or that” blog  to ooo ooo ooo have you seen this new app or this new piece of technology that will do this or this or that on social media. Kim was never left moment that wasn’t filled with random information awesomeness overload (Think Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada when she is at the big event dishing facts about people Meryl Streep is meeting….yeah!)

FFFWWWEEEFFFF!!! I learned a lot!

BlogHer13 was an amazing event full of amazing strangers.  Some of them were strangers I had met through blogging that were friends.   Some of them were strangers I knew through twitter that I now got to meet in real life and some of them were strangers I had never known before.  Each moment of this event filled me with lessons and reminders about myself and this amazing place we call the blogosphere!




12 Days of Joy: Day 2 Inspiration


Kirsten Piccini of The Kir Corner is nothing new to this space.  I have talked about her often here.  Now if you told Kirsten that she was inspiring… no not inspiring… I would go so far as to call her my muse… she would smile (I imagine she would and share  huge pearly white make you have to smile too smile) and politely say, “Oh, Laverne it isn’t me that is inspiring it is you sweetie!”  Regardless of what she thinks, she inspires my quite frequently.  Someone who inspires me this often can only rightfully be described as my muse.

Which brings us all to her latest inspiration…

Kirsten had been going through a rough patch in November.  Painful life events, coupled with the changing seasons and some other things had left her sad.  I think it is something we all can relate to.  I know I can.  I had noticed in November the absence of her make you smile, then giggle, then cry posts (what!  a lot of her posts make me cry happy tears).  I also noticed that her fantastically written stories that took me to another place and left me lost in a world of romance, passion and emotion posts had been fewer.  Now the average reader may not suspect any change.   I likened it to the bustle of the holidays, working full time and being a mom/wife.  It often leaves very little time for blogging.  So when Kirsten shared her post on Facebook it not only made sense to me, but it  also inspired me!

You see wrapped up in the words of her Facebook post were also simple words about being deeply grateful for some of the things in her life.  As I read the post I was instantly moved to want to flood her with gratitude and joy.  Actually, I wanted to get in my car, drive out East, knock on her door, give her a huge hug and cry until it was all better.  Well, that wasn’t going to happen so I decided I was going to do a link up and we would all share our joy and show everyone that when we all look at life have a lot of good in it.  I was going to smother the blogosphere with happiness.

Note: When you have an idea to bring together tens of bloggers for a link up in December best not to have the idea 3 days before December… doesn’t work so well for planning and getting others on board.  Also, not the best idea to be overly ambitiously when planning.  For example,  aiming to post for 30 days in a row while working full time, spending time with my family and then thinking I was going to run a blog link up and promote it all.  I just going to go on pretending  that my ambitiousness is cute… but seriously what the HECK was I thinking.

So yesterday I began.  Little old me.  All by myself.  No link up.  No big promoting.  No 30 days.  Just me and my 12 days.  12 Days of Joy that I will share with whoever visits this space.  12 days of noticing the little things in my life.  12 days of noticing the little things we do everyday that we miss but when you really stop and notice bring you joy.  Most of all I will share my 12 days of joy for a friend I adore and who’s happiness and heart warms my life.  I will share because she reminded me how important it is to look and find joy in our lives!


My Box of 8

A year and a half ago writing to me meant I was writing a report.  Sentences were a string of words put together with a subject and a predicate.  Writing was done simply to communicate.   My box of crayons was nothing but a box of 8.  Black, gray and white got the most use.

Then I started blogging (thank you Shirley).  Through link ups, twitter, getting to know other bloggers, writing for and with other blogger my writing started to change.  Writing was no longer to just communicate information.  It became about painting a picture.  I started to pick up a color or two here and there to add to my box.

I read, I watched, I learned and I started to push myself out of my comfort zone.  I started to write from places in my heart that had not been tuned into in too long.  I began to write about parts of my life and memories that hurt.  I began to heal.  Suddenly by box of colors began to overflow.  Each color gathered from giving a piece of myself to my writing,  healing parts of my heart that had been in pain or from crafting my voice.

New friends came into my life and suddenly my collection changed.  Each amazing person I meet and friend I made brought with them a color to share with me.  These are the most unique, dazzling and radiant colors of all.

Today I am a box of 8 overflowing with colors laying all over the desk.  Some of the crayons I have earned.  Some of them I have collected.  Some have been left as gifts.

As I sprinkle, color, and paint my words with these colors each time I write, I have a desk of crayons that I could not even have begun to imagine I’d ever possess.  Radiant colors, the ones that dazzle, primary colors are solid and reliable, earth tones that depth and layers and my black, white and gray create foundation and strength.  And what a collection it is!

What kind of box of crayons are you?

This piece was inspired by Kirsten from The Kir Corner:                                                                   Her space is one of my most favorite spaces to visit.  I visit frequently.  Her ability to weave and knit words together not only leave me amazed at her infinite talent but on more then one occasion have left me absolutely

Last week Kirsten at The Kir Corner wrote a post titled: I’m Every Color.  She shared a piece of an email a friend had written to her.inspired!  And if you are lucky enough to have her visit your space you are sue to be the recipient of the most amazingly sweet and touching comments.

I think of people as boxes of crayons. Most men/women  are a box of 8, 16 if they are lucky.  They couldn’t possibly conceive of ideas drawn by someone with a box with more crayons – they don’t have the palette.  I’m lucky – I may be a box of 64 with the built-in sharpener, but I married a designer.  He’s at least a box of 32! 

You, my beautiful girl, are a limited edition box of 128 with the built in drawing table and collectors case.  You can’t conceive of others not being able to understand what you see.

It was Kirsten’s awww and disbelief of her own box of crayons and the realization she came to at the end of her post that inspired this. I hope that it might inspire you to share what box of crayons you are too!