March 8, 2013

It's #SoFabCon or Bust for me! #LuvSoFab #cbias

If you had asked me a little over a year ago if I thought I'd be writing a blog and calling it my job I probably would have laughed at you.  No, I definitely would have laughed at you, called you crazy and gone back to my job that was beginning to feel like a horrible fit for my family.

The world of blogging was completely foreign to me and while I was considered more tech savvy than most people I worked with, I'd never even glimpsed at a Blogger or Wordpress interface.  And yet just a couple months later I surprised myself and everyone around me by starting Mommy Testers.

#CBias, #LuvSoFab, #SoFabCon,

It all started with a little plastic kid's car.  You know, the red and yellow one with the black wheels that's a right of passage as an American child?  My mother in law bought one for Kayla as a holiday gift and as the person who is ready willing and able to assemble anything I set out to do it thinking it would take all of 15 minutes.

One hour, two incredibly frustrated adults and more expletives than I'd like to admit later I found the answer to our assembly problem - in a product review.  It turns out there were a bunch of these little cars floating around that had an improperly formed plastic piece that wouldn't just pop in where it was supposed to.  After pouring boiling water over one end of it like the review said I was finally able to put it in place and finish assembling the rest of the car.

Shortly after that Mommy Testers was born.  I was tired of the copy and paste press releases I'd see on many blogs when researching a product and wanted to help other parents like me find the little details and nuances of items for their kids.

#CBias, #LuvSoFab, #SoFabCon,

Luckily within a couple of months of entering the blogging world like a deer in headlights I found three awesome bloggers who quickly became great friends - Mallery, Nicole and Meagan.  They were supportive, helpful and inspiring.  Most importantly they were all incredibly nice!  I'd heard tales of bloggers getting nasty with one another and had even seen people duke things out very publicly via Twitter and it terrified me as a pretty non-confrontational person.

They all also happened to be SoFab members.  I'd wondered about Social Fabric but didn't really understand what it was.  I had become a member of some other blogger groups through companies that offered opportunities but none of them seemed to have any true sense of community about them.

Through some invaluable mentoring from Mallery and the kind graces of the SoFab gods I became a member about 6 months ago and I'd be lying if I said that my experience in this community had been anything less than life altering.  Literally.

#CBias, #LuvSoFab, #SoFabCon,

I've always been able to write, but I truly learned to write through the challenges presented to me by Social Fabric.  I've been able to monetize my blog in a way that felt comfortable to me and didn't compromise my integrity as a blogger and a human being.  I've been able to make blogging a career and not just a "thing I do late at night."

After working for others my entire adult life it feels incredible to take nothing and turn it into something.  No, it's not some huge company, but it's what I want it to be and it's mine.  I have the flexibility to be with my family when I want to and more importantly when I need to.  When you're a parent what can be more important?

Beyond all of that, Social Fabric has given me the gift of people.  Hysterical, amazing, smart, ridiculous, hard working, creative people.  I feel so lucky to call many of them my friends and even though I've known most of them for such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things I can't really imagine not knowing them!  What blows my mind is the extent to which people truly care and want to know one another in this community.

#CBias, #LuvSoFab, #SoFabCon,

Mallery has become like a sister-from-another-mother to me.  No joke.  Along with her come people like Amy and Christy whom I can always count on to crash my date nights and make me laugh hard enough to spit out my morning beverage.  And they're just three of the many members I love waking up to.  Though we joke around (constantly), pester one another (endlessly) and all could not be more different if we tried we all have a common bond.  There is a sisterhood (brothers too!) to SoFab that is like no other.

That sisterhood is the number one reason that I want to attend #SoFabCon.  Because how crazy is it to have a second family that you spend so much time with and have never actually met in person???  For me this conference is a conference, but it's really more of a family trip.  With all that I've learned in the last year there is still SO much more to take in and so many things I can improve upon.  I am excited for the workshops and cannot wait to get photo tips from Rachel because I love her blog and drool over her pictures all the time.

#CBias, #LuvSoFab, #SoFabCon,

But most of all this conference will give me the chance to be with my big, crazy, ever-growing family.  I'll get to meet all the members whose blogs I love reading and recipes I love cooking.  I'll get a chance to finally meet Brandi, a mom who I would have definitely been friends with had I met her at the park playing with our little girls.  And I'll get to ogle Bailey's fabulous accessory collection in person instead of via Instagram :)

Basically, heading to SoFabCon will empower me to be with the people who have helped build me up and given me the world when it comes to blogging and friendship.  There are so many I want to thank in person, not through a card or an email but through a genuine face to face thank you and a hug.  I'll come home with some much better SEO skills, my SLR camera will no longer be like operating a space craft and feeding off the general positivity and the incredible spirit of the Collective Bias and Social Fabric teams I'm pretty positive I will be ready to rock year two of Mommy Testers!
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