Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket to attend the event. All opinions expressed are my own!
This weekend, yes- our first weekend here in Portland, Oregon, I had the opportunity to attend the Bloom weekend getaway. I went into it with a very relaxed attitude, wanting to just have a little time for myself after the last few months leading up to the move. I just wanted to do something for myself for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, I love to serve my family, my friends, and my community. It’s just.. the last two years were exhausting. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, but it was tiresome. So was that forty hour car drive I had to do with two kids. I was also really hoping to make a few local friends, because I hate being lonely!
I needed some mama time.
I knew it was going to be amazing just from the lineup, IMOMSOHARD kicked things off on Friday night, There was some delicious snacks, complimentary wine, and a few brief talks leading up to IMOMSOHARD. I loved learning more about Kelsy, the founder of Bloom. Her best friend described her, and even though I’d only met the two of them moments before, I cried hearing her story. I always get weepy eyed about great friendships. The ladies from IMOMSOHARD were as funny and delightful as I was expecting. We got to meet them and do photos, and they were just the best. They seemed just as excited to see us.
On Saturday, I went to a couple yard sales and headed over. Friday felt like more of an opportunity to laugh and play, and Saturday felt like a day to get your life together. The speakers were unbelievable. I was thrilled to learn more about the company, COR44. This lady, Tammy, has endured so much and used fitness as a tool to survive it. She was beautiful and inside and out. She has some great inspiration over on her blog and within in her personal training cards. We also learned about a company, Damsel in Defense. They have some really wonderful products to keep you safe, very practical and affordable. For moms, I want to mention they also have some books that are great conversation starters.
Our keynote for this event was Samantha Ettus. From the moment she walked out, I thought she is truly #goals. She is as gorgeous and she is brilliant, with two degrees from Harvard. She is an expert on home and work life balance. I know what you’re thinking, “I thought that wasn’t a thing.” Well, she shared some of her tips on stage, but we also got a book from the event she has written called “The Pie Life.” I have been just devouring her wisdom. She really puts an emphasis on being present. Don’t be at work feeling guilty, you’re not at home. Don’t be at home, looking at your clock, ready for the next thing. Her message really struck some chords for me, she is an advocate for living and enjoying your life. For filling it up with things that fill you up, she knows that will make you a better wife and mother too. I was sad when her time ended, because I needed everything she was saying. I’ve had some personal goals that I continue to put on the back burner, because of fear and guilt. Her talk and her book are pushing me out of it, they are giving me permission to have ambitions beyond being a wife and mother. (remember my e-book!? I’ve been too nervous to release it for fear, I don’t have time to devote to its marketing and my family) I’m planning to launch a podcast this year, but kept putting off recording my first season. I needed her talk, and I can already confidently recommend her book to anyone feeling stuck in their lives.
After her talk, we had a chance to meet her and get our books signed. From there, I went to lunch with a new friend. (See those Ramen below, so delicious.) It was so nice getting to spend time with a local mom blogger, learning more about her life and family.
After lunch, our completely hilarious MC, Meredith from That’s Inappropriate introduced the remaining speakers. One speaker I had been so excited for was the creator the START planner, I’ve been following them on social media for sooo long, really struggling to purchase one for myself. I’m a planner to my core though, so I was eager to here what tips she had. I am pleased to report I won a planner! My planner crush, ya’ll. I now own one! This planner has a space for anything and everything and I LOVE IT. We even got the chance to do a Barre workout. Kelsy’s sister, Jaimi Blakely, was just a hoot! She really pushed us to dig down to the goals we had as children. It was a really cool exercise, because you’re looking at who you thought you would be at four and you’re asking, “how did I get here?!” It stretches you right past your comfort zone. We even took some time to give back, we made bags for the area homeless women with items the BLOOM team provided at each table like tampons, gum, tissues. It was really rewarding to take some time for others during our special weekend together. It was bittersweet when Kristina Kuzmic took the stage, because we all knew it meant the event was reaching its end. Yet, we all knew what she would say would be amazing. We were not disappointed, this lady has an incredible story. Several of them, actually. She can make you laugh, she can make you cry, all within five minutes. She is so authentic, We got to actually spend time with her throughout the weekend, and she is just as incredible as you imagine she is. What stuck out to me from her particular talk, was how we all want to blame someone else for our crappy life but attitude can make a huge difference. She was a wonderful reminder that even in our lowest spots, we can serve others. We can bring ourselves joy if that is what we really want in life, it is all up to us.
I left Saturday with my cup running completely over, motivated and inspired by these ladies. Also, feeling a little convicted about my attitude and my heart. Wanting to dive deep into some goals of my own, I’ve pushed to the backburner because of pesky mom guilt. We found out that next year the event will be in Seattle, Washington! So- I’ll be there and I hope you will be too.