Blogstruck Weekend..Chicago 2012

Ok..ok...lots of you have been asking for the low down dirty deets on this past weekend in Chicago when some of the funniest women from across the US came together for big laughs.

I'll give you a quick (as quick as I can) recap of my take on things.

First, the background.  Everyone knows I want a dumpster baby..and her incredible journey of getting sober, getting healthy, quitting smoking, and trying to have a baby.  When she was blessed with finally getting pregnant with twins, the whole bloggerverse was spinning with excitement.  Friends, bloggers, etc came together to hear her story.  It's full of hope, inspiration, and good stuff.  She brings people together.  Simple enough.  So a bunch of us thought, hey, it might be fun to have a little get together in her honor before the babies arrive.

I had never met any of these ladies before - just online. 

Last June, as you might remember, I went to BlogHer in NYC and had the incredible thrill of meeting the very funny and fabulous Jen from People I want to punch in the throat (as well as the lovely AND brilliantly funny Leslie from the Bearded Iris, THE chuckle-inducing Robin O'Bryant, author of Ketchup is a Vegetable, and the hilarious blonde bombshell Kim from Let me Start by saying)...and I thought my life was complete having met these (and many many other funny girls; ninjamom, motherhoodwtf, etc. etc) ladies.  But having tasted the awesomeness that was those ladies, I wanted more funny - so I booked 2 nights in Chicago.  After all, Mary Tyler Mom, Moms Who Drink and Swear, I want a dumpster baby all lived there.  It was worth the time and effort to just meet these ladies.

After some messaging back and forth, we booked tickets, a hotel suite (very affordable, thank you Chicago suburbs..), and forged ahead.  Some of the replies from friends, coworkers and husbands all echoed the same worries.."what if they tie you up and cut out your kidneys and sell them on ebay..."  etc. etc. etc.  Even the famous Young Jonathan from Katy's (IWADB) work was on standby with ransom money ready to wire if need be.  Alas...believe it or not, the only thing any of us wanted, was to experience each other live and in person, and laugh hysterically at anything and everything that anyone said at any given time.

A friend of mine had this conversation with me when I arrived (in a zombie-like state) on Sunday.
Friend:  SOOO...what did you do???  What awesome clubs did you go to..make me jealous!  GO!
Me: fancy outings...nope.  Nothing.  Just sat around mostly, and laughed.
Friend:  Surely you went shopping on Michigan Avenue?
Me:  No.  We got a coffee at Starbucks on Michigan Ave and stared longingly in each others' eyes.
Friend:  Did you just laugh yourself silly from too many cocktails, too?
Me:  I think 1/2 a bottle of wine was consumed the entire weekend.  These people are funny as shit..SOBER.
Friend:  Ok then I gotta go !! Talk to you later!
I know...some people don't 'get it' know, the whole blogging thing.  It's weird, whatever..but we do it, and we love it.  And no, we're not getting rich off of it either.  Not even a little.  Most of us make about 3 cents a month if we have a really good month.  Anywhooo..

And that, in a what happened.

We laughed.  And talked.  And yelled over each other (keep in mind a bunch of A-type personalities all finishing each others' sentences and one upping the funny with everything that was said...and everyone hanging on to every. single. word of those we consider the 'great ones' of blogging.

What were they like???

OK - I'll do a quick security breach here and spill some simple deets about these ladies.

Mary Tyler Mom:  For someone who has been through the hellish agony of losing a child to cancer, and all of the countless curve balls that have been thrown her way, she is a beaming ray of light that warms everyone in her presence.  I loved her so much I wanted to sit on her lap and have her rock me to sleep.  She exudes love, peace, beauty and HOPE.  I wish I could convey how many times the thought of her strength in what she's gone through has made ME strong in my daily life.  She is as priceless and wonderful as you think she is from her blog.  I wish I could've bottled her and taken her home with me.  Not in a creepy way of course.

Moms Who Drink and Swear:  You all know this - she is a L E G E N D in the blogosphere.  How do I describe her and do her justice??  She is a firecracker..high voltage burst of concentrated energy.  When you are near her, you feel adrenaline rush through your veins like you just had a 5hr energy drink.  And not only is she funny as hell, this woman is a social worker who has given herself and her time to help so many people in need.  How she has been exposed to the sadness she has and still find the funny in life should be a lesson to everyone.  Though all of us were incredibly awestruck to be with her, she had no idea how much we all loved her and why.  She is as humble as they, wild, fun, and sweet as honey.  Unreal.

I Want a Dumpster Baby:  This girl is a people magnet for a reason.  She sucks people in with her natural charm, her smile, her silliness, and her ability to just BE who she is.  She spreads a gracious vibe every where she goes, and with a genuine appreciation for life, she lives every day believing that anything is possible.  I totally get why so many people love her  - - and not just in an 'i love chocolate' kind of way - like in a serious, 'no, i really LOVVVE that girl..' kind of way.  She is as cute, if not cuter than her spaz dance pics demonstrate.  And, if I'm being honest, it's kind of ridiculous that she looks better with twins than I ever did with just one.   One of the highlights of my trip was meeting the infamous 'grandmama' necklace she wears, and coming face to face with Sally Boy, the cat.  What a naughty little love he is.

Blissfully Discontented:  One of my very first loves in the blogging world.  She supported me when I thought my blog was total solid gold shit.  She was always there commenting, encouraging, reading, laughing and I couldn't wait to squeeze her in person.  All she has to do is smile and the entire room lights up.  She is ridiculously beautiful but she is so much more than beauty.  This girl is smart as a whip, knows every stinkin' movie quote I threw at her (and followed up w/ another), and has the most caring way about her.  Her journey to discover her son's Asperger's has been an inspiration to so many.

You Know It Happens at Your House, too:  Ahhh yes, the Johnny-Depp loving, Farmer's Wife.  If you look up America in the dictionary, her photo should be there next to apple pie, baseball and the flag.  She is proud, happy, witty as they come, and one of the funniest people I have ever met.  She's so quick on a joke it will make your head spin.  You know the movie "I don't know how she does it?"  That's her.  She has 1001 things to do in a day and gets them done..and done well.  Her disposition is happy, and her sense of humor is killer, but she finds the good in people like you wouldn't believe.

Tripping While Standing Still:  This firecracker here...where to begin?  She has been through more than anyone could ever even imagine, and yet she is nothing but grateful for what she has.  She cares more about people than most and if there is an opportunity to help someone she is on it.  This girl has taught me that no matter what life hands you, you go with it.  If you don't like what life handed you, you do whatever it takes to change that.  Clean and sober for almost a year, she has had every reason to drink this year, but spit in the face of temptation.  She doesn't put up with whining or bs..she will tell you like it is, and when she's done telling you, she will hug you and tell you that no matter what, you can do can do what you think you can't.  She's a survivor..yet so much more.

That's it...that's all I got for ya!  All I can say, is that we have one big thing in common...we love blogging, we love making people laugh, we genuinely love our readers (except the mean ones, of course), and we all put ourselves out there daily to make this world a better place.  If you think for a minute, you are just a reader, just a commenter, just a cyberfan, you're wrong.  We read every comment you make, we appreciate all of you, and we are just like everyone else...we just took it to a different extreme.  :)

Until next time...I'm a zombie and need a nap.


  1. I would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall for that get together. :)

  2. That kind of weekend is my newest goal in life! Thank you for sharing, even if it made me a wee bit envious! Now I have new blogs to check out!

  3. You just made me love you all even more :) Thanks for sharing your weekend with us!!

  4. Love you so very much. This is a beautiful recap of our amazing weekend! So much to take in, so much awesome, so much love!!!

  5. Gawd what I would have given for my hubs to have been home for me to make this trip!!! Next time!!!

  6. DG, I dont know what else to say but that my world is more enriched with you in it. Plain and simple. There are few people in this world who have the whole package...outer beauty (seriously a knockout), the kind of sense of humor that sent me running to the bathroom how many times over the weekend??...a nurturing, warm, kind woman that I feel very fortunate to have shared space with this weekend. Thank you so much for just being you. <3

  7. That is it.No more weekend trips without me. I get too jealous. ;). Sounds like you guys had so much fun and I am so happy you were able to go.

  8. That is it.No more weekend trips without me. I get too jealous. ;). Sounds like you guys had so much fun and I am so happy you were able to go.

  9. So glad y'all had a great time! It's always amazing to see how the internet can bring people together, and forge very real friendships! :)

  10. Sounds WONDERFUL!!! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE all of you ladies:) I was looking at all the pics this weekend and turning green with envy! Sounds like an amazing weekend and I only hope that one day soon I get to meet some of you gals in the flesh! xoxo

  11. Loved every word and photo. I think all of you are incredible. Xoxo

  12. FULL OF AWESOME!! Yall are all so pretty and funny and wonderful in your own way! Thanks for giving us a peek Andrea!

  13. sounds like fun, i just started following your blog and love it feel free to check me out

  14. I just love yall. You're right...there's just a connection that comes. It's hard to explain. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Smooches! Cyn A.D.D.MusicMamma

  15. Gah! So jealous! I actually was just in Chicago a few weeks ago too. Also meeting in real life with online friends. My trip was much too short, and I would go back again in a second!


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