Posts Tagged: nashville

How Fast Things Can Change

When I first started blogging— in 2005—I was doing it purely to have a place to keep stories of the kids together.  From 1998 to 2005 I had posted on bulletin boards, and realized that the stories I had shared were eventually lost in cyberspace, over time.   Someone had shared a link to Dooce, and I was turned on.  I could do that, I thought.  I could write all the stories about our life so that one day the kids could look back and read it all.  Maybe they’d laugh.  Maybe they’d cry.  But, they’d know that even through every up and down that they were loved beyond the words and hugs and kisses.  The stories told were important.   I wanted them documented and kept together, for posterity’s sake.

In 2007 I was turned on to a site called Cre8Buzz.  It was there that I found “my people”, those that would become an integral part of my online community through blogging.  I’d also been re-inspired to take up photography again, and the stories went from a few lines to a few paragraphs and more.   Fellow bloggers would come to me, read, comment, and I would do the same.  Some would come and go, others stayed.  And, stayed, and stayed.

Over the years blogging has changed in ways I never would have imagined.  There have been conferences, speaking engagements, trips, promotions and giveaways, brand relationships, sponsorships, business building, and solid networking.   These are constantly evolving, but the one thing that stays the same are those people that became “my people”.  The numbers have grown, but they are the one mainstay.  People that know [you].  People that get [you].  People that love [you] unconditionally with respect and gratitude.

It’s truly been one of the biggest blessings of this little hobby that started all because I wanted to tell stories about my life.

My Bliss: Part II

I had only planned to go to Blissdom for one night.  I would go in for my Workshop on Wednesday, and leave, after lunch, on Thursday.   I was sad about it, but I just didn’t have the money to stay the whole time.   This did not sit well with me.   My heart nagged me.  I needed to do something to allow me to stay the whole time.  That’s when I threw out, here, on Twitter, and on Facebook, that I was offering *Heads or Tails mini-sessions.

It worked.  I booked the number needed to be able to go the entire time.   I started to make driving and sleeping arrangements.  Things started to come together perfectly.   When the weather became a minor issue, I decided it would be best to leave a day early.  Luckily, that worked out, too.  And, just in time the boots and skirt that I had ordered, almost two weeks prior, arrived just before we were all ready to shove off.

On Tuesday morning, I set off with Renee (and her little boy, Mekhi), to Tennessee.

When we got to the hotel we ate and gabbed.

I’ve known Renee for a couple years now and she is nothing but class and beauty; to boot, she’s articulate and smart and funny!  I’ve had the pleasure of taking two trips with Renee, but this trip to Nashville was the best.  We laughed a lot.  That’s definitely a prerequisite for a good car trip.

Soon after we ate I got a text from Lotus.  She was in the Opryland, so we met up and headed to our room.   Her belly was growling so I introduced her to Stax, and then we went to our Wisdom Workshop meeting.   There we saw a bunch of our friends.   It was real, and it was here.

After the meeting Lotus, Schmutzie, and I walked the long way to Stax so that Schmutzie could eat.  Along the way we intercepted a spectacular water and light show.  It was mesmerizing with the moving water, the music, the darkness and the lights.   We took that moment to capture it, but we also took that moment to thoroughly enjoy it.

I Photographer

Blissful HugsLoralee Blissfully Dances

Schmutzie!Girls Just Wanna Have Good Burgers (and Fun)

After we sat for a while, Lotus and I walked back to our room to wait for Leslie and Victoria.

Blissdom was officially starting.

My Bliss was here and I was totally ready to accept it.

*Heads or Tails: Michael coined the phrase to describe my Headshot and/or Bouidor mini-sessions. Thanks, Michael, you witty man, you!

Blissdom ’09 on Flickr

The Blissdom’09 Flickr Pool | My Blissdom’09 Photography





My Bliss Bubble


{one word.}


I am so amazed at the weekend I just spent.  Not only did I get to meet some of my best internet friends and get reacquainted with ones I had already met,  I made new ones too.  And not only did I make new ones, I fell in love with them.  It was an amazing weekend.  *I can’t even begin to link and name names. That would be insane.  My hope is that I reached out to as many people as possible.  Not only with my camera, but with my spirit and voice.   That’s my hope.

My Shoes

I Did Attend

The weekend started when I woke up at 5:00am, on Friday, to get ready to drive from my home town, northeast of Atlanta, to Nashville.  I left early because I am notoriously late.  That day I was going to be early, dammit.  And I was.  I got there and had time for a quick bite of breakfast and some iced coffee.  Then I went and registered. Then I pulled out my camera and started clicking.  I got some great mingling shots and was feeling pretty good.    I kept checking to see if my room might be ready early so that I could put on my pretty outfit, but it wasn’t.  Then the third time I had checked, the front desk gal sent me on my way with a key. Thrilled; I was beyond thrilled.

I gathered my million things from the van, ran into some awesomeness in the parking lot, and proceeded to get to my room. I was fully prepared to fall into my king sized bed for half-an-hour and then put my face and my outfit on.  However, I got up to my room (315, whut-whut) and it was a mess. The bed was slept in, there were towels on the floor, coffee cups were on the nightstand, and the ironing board was still out and plugged in, though off.  I called to get them to come remedy it, but wasn’t about to leave my stuff there.  I just got online and chilled.  And I tweeted about the state of my room.   Little did the hotel know my little tweet would pale in comparison to the tweets of The Elevator Incident with the Elevator 13 (a/k/a #elevator.)   I was paid a little visit from a new bloggy pal, too.  It was really nice to chat as I got dressed and ready to go.

Kickin Out The Kohl's Shirts

Little did I know that as I started to shoot Friday’s events I would feel majorly inadequate.  I don’t know where these feelings came from other than some bad shots with the really bad lighting.    Honestly, my confidence level dwindled and soon it was non-existent.   I was a total wreck.  Luckily I shared my feelings with a few of the right people.  A few “right people” who have become some of my “favorite right people.”  I went upstairs, had a reality check, and returned to do the fine job that I was called upon to do.   I walked between sessions,  then attended a dressed up cocktail party, then partook in some camera jabbering in the lobby, and then was completely surprised.   Michael showed up a day early; it was awesome.  We caught dinner and then went up to our room.  Bow Chicka Bow Wow.

In the Pink Slip

My Southern Fairy Tale

I woke up on Saturday, got ready, and headed down to the breakfast and special screening.  It was awesome, to say the least.  The special surprise, that morning, was that two of Yanni’s Voices were there to spend some time with us.  It was dazzling, endearing, funny, sexy, wonderful, and just a great experience.  Everyone was more than happy to wait in line to get autographs and a picture taken with Nathan and Ender, too.   The line was deep but I loved taking every single picture.  What I really loved was hearing what women were saying to the guys.  From “I felt you in my bones” to “you made my eyes well up with tears,” I heard all the comments and felt the love, gratitude, and excitement.

Me and the Yanni Boys

I Blog Because I Care

The rest of the day was spectacularly fantastic.  My mojo was definitely back and I worked that camera.  Then it was time for my panel. Michael came and took over snapping while I was up on the panel with Leslie, Deanna, and Jenny.   I think it went really well, too.  Deanna, Jenny, and Leslie are just so awesome.     Afterwards I made some more connections with bloggers over lunch.  Then it was back to work.  Before I knew it the day was at the end and I ran into my boyfriend–errr–Chris Mann!  What an awesome guy.  I’m so happy that I got to be among one of the first to shake his hand.

Apprentice Design/Photography Panel


The Mannventure

In the midst of all this my girlfriend Maggie showed up.  The hug! Oh Em Gee, the hug, it was awesome! Maggie and her man Tom drove from Oklahoma and we planned to hit the cocktail party for a bit and then dinner in Downtown Nashville.

Jen Lancaster, the key note speaker, was the grand finale and the conference day was finished  with some raffle prizes.  I experienced so much love, generosity, more love, happiness, and even more love.  It was BLISS!     I got to take some pictures of Chris with all his Twitter Boos and his new Blissdom Boos.   Then I rushed upstairs to get my dress on to make it to the cocktail party.   Michael was ready to go and thank God the knee highs didn’t leave extremely bad marks on my legs.

Project 365 in B&W Day 38

I totally missed singing some Karaoke, but it didn’t matter. I got to see some of my new pals sing and I got to mingle with the best girls of the blogosphere.  I took a ton of pictures of the dance floor, which was flooded with hot babes who were dancing and singing their hearts and souls out.

Shortly thereafter Maggie, Tom, Michael, and I headed out.  We piled into our mini-van and made our way to the Big River Brewerey for dinner.  The company was perfect.  Conversations flowed and it just felt so good to be in the company of friends.

New friends.
Awesome friends.
Good times.
Good people.
My Bliss Bubble.
Please never pop.

Danielle Love

After we ate and drank we headed back to the hotel for a night cap.  At this time I got some requisite dancing in, too.  We closed the Pink Slip bar out by sitting around laughing, drinking, telling stories, and enjoying each others’ company.

On Sunday morning I was accompanied by a special bunch of women on a Photowalk of Downtown Nashville.  It was so relaxed and wonderful.  We all walked and talked and learned about each other; it was just a dreamy way to end the Blissdom09 weekend.

Photowalkers and Jazz Hands

Even now when I think about it I can’t say much other than this:


{one word}



*I apologize for the lack of links.  I’ll work on it as I can.  Now I’m off to get the 1200+ pics that I took, weeded and perfect, uploaded to the Blissdom09 Flickr Group!

Weekly Winners LXIV

Weekly Winners::For More Go To Sarcastic Mom's Blog

Before I share my Weekly Winners, I have a few orders of business:

  • My blog was named a finalist in the 2009 Weblog Awards for Photography.   It’s an incredible honor and one which I have not taken lightly.  This has been something of an ego boost, but I have also had to ground myself so that I could leave the house without needing butter to grease my head out of the doorway.   If you are here by way of The Bloggies, I hope you are enjoying what you see and I hope that you will stick around.    If you’d like to see more of my work you can check out my past Weekly Winners or go to my Flickr and have a look-see.
  • There are some other, very cool, friends of mine that are up for Bloggies, too:
    Tiff’s Three Ring Circus, Veronica from Sleepless Nights, Blog Nosh Mag,  and my girlfriend Mr Lady!
  • I was nominated for another blog award.  I’ve already tweeted–or twittered–that I would do a series of vlogs (video blogs) if I win. If I won The Dottie for Best Director I promise to vlog every day for one week (a week meaning Monday through Friday.)  This could be very interesting.  Vote now!
  • I have a new article up at Blissfully Domestic|Photo Bliss.  It’s a must read for those that sometimes feel their photography is not good enough.   You’ll be surprised at what you read!
  • Speaking of Blissfully Domestic, one week from now I will have whooped it up in Nashville at the Blissdom’09 Conference.  I’m speaking and photographing the event.  It’s a huge honor and I’m so super excited about it. Not to mention I will be meeting a whole bunch of my online peeps, as well and making more connections with new online peeps.  I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait!!   I just can’t wait.
  • I ran a contest for Bloggy Giveaways a couple days ago.  Nine people were to be randomly chosen to receive a print of my choice.   The winners are: Mrs. CoxJessica, Elizabeth, erica s, Nicole Renee,  MRS. MOMMY, Miss Ash, Guinevere, and Yertle
    Thanks to all who entered; look for more print giveaways in the very near future!


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