The Mom 2.0 Summit. Or, the one where I say thank you 172 times.

There was this one moment Friday night in New Orleans, after a fantastic dinner at Méson 923,  when the owners invited a few of us to the kitchen to meet the chef. (That kind of thing happens a lot when you procreate with another trained chef.) I realized immediately that Nate, not quite the social butterfly, was himself in that environment. He was relaxed. He was so at home walking around that restaurant, looking at the shining steel counters and trading barbs with the guys on the line. Nate was Nate.

That’s how I felt all weekend long at the Mom 2.0 summit.

I might have been exhausted at times, socially anxious at times, and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. But I also felt inspired,  motivated, psychically nourished, and very, very me.

I need to thank everyone who contributed to this feeling, because I want to feel it all the time.

In other words, the people here? They are the opiates of the mom blogging world.

Thank you to my co-panelists Maggie Mason and Erin Loechner who were incredibly forthcoming with their advice on how to pitch potential brand partners. I was so busy reaping their wisdom on that panel, I sometimes forgot I could jump in and speak too.

Thank you to Morra Aarons, Emily McKhann, Jen Singer, Roxanna Sarmiento, Polly Pagenhart, Loralee Choate, Rita Arens, Lindsay Maines, Audrey McClelland, Laurie Smithwick, Colleen Padilla, Cecily Kellogg, Renee J RossKari Dahlen, Dina Freeman, The Rookie Moms, Lindsay Ferrier, Miss Yvonne, Mir, Beth Blecherman, Kelcey and Marinka, who make me smile just by seeing them, even if we didn’t spend enough time together.

Thank you to Chef John Besh, Zatarain’s, and the cast and crew of Domenica whose most excellent peach bellinis, savory beignets, and pork a la everything made me swear off eating ever again for life; a promise which lasted for a whole 90 minutes. Also? Thanks to homemade limoncello.

An extra big thank you to Eden Kennedy and Alice Bradley, whose writerly advice on their panel has stayed with me for days now. Key takeaways:

  • Stop procrastinating and write.
  • The more you write, the better you get.
  • “Don’t make average things for average people.”
  • -John Updike has psoriasis.

Thanks to new dad blogger friends, especially the ones who thought I was 30. Giving you a big whoo-hoo for Dad 2.0.

Thank you to Almond Accents and the Zone Bars provided by Similac for saving me from blood sugar crashes around 3PM each day.

Thank you to fellow Saturday night benefit readers Doug, Kyran, Meagan, Jenny, Heather and the rest, who make me want to be better writers.  And to the team at Tide Loads of Hope for doing what you do. My reading, silly as it was, was dedicated to the schoolchildren in Haiti that my daughter’s kindergarten has adopted, the ones who probably don’t get to eat all day if they can’t make it to school. I’m glad they are not forgotten.

Thank you to Gabrielle Blair who cited Cool Mom Picks in her panel as her example of a nicely designed blog. This is kind of like Woody Allen telling you your joke was funny. Or Charlie Sheen telling you your crack was good.

Thank you to Elizabeth’s for the Praline Bacon.

No, seriously. Thank you. 

Thanks to all the savvy business minds who can make a gal smarter simply by standing next to them. I’m talking to you, Shelly Kramer, Erica Diamond, Stephanie Smirnov, Susan Getgood, Stephanie Schwab, Adam Keats, Caleb Gardner.

Thank you to Anissa Mayhew for not flinching when I called her high-maintenance, what with those crazy glasses of hers. Wheelchair or not, she could totally kick my ass. 

Thank you for the kindness and deep abiding friendship of Julie Marsh, Kristen Chase, Isabel Kallman, Anna Fader, Karen Gerwin, Stacey Morrison, Megan FrancisCatherine Connors, Asha Dornfest and her husband Rael, who is Nate’s new boyfriend. Meaning Asha and I now need to move to Utah and create an alternative family arrangement.

Thank you to new friend Jyl Johnson Pattee who evidently said something nice about my post The Unspoken Truths of Mothers on Top in her panel about influencers, which I’m sad to have missed. (Not just because she mentioned me; but because I heard it was a great panel.) When posts that mean something to me mean something to someone else too, that may be the greatest writing reward of all.

Thank you to Delta Airlines for putting the chick with her bare feet up on the seat in front of her behind Kristen, and not me. For the first time ever, the last row of the plane was preferable to the first.

And of course, thank you for Laura Mayes and her team for putting on one hell of a conference; the only one I’ve been to with brilliant panels, wonderful social events, and Greek feta-almond bruschetta. Don’t ever hold it at a discount hotel chain or skimp on the food. And that’s all I’ll say about that. 

(And I totally know I’m forgetting a zillion people. If you saved me a seat, or smiled at me from my panel, or hugged me tight, or didn’t make fun of my hair at any point during the weekend then I thank you too.)

I’ve often said that you can judge where you are in your life by looking at the people who surround you.

Right now, I feel like I am surrounded by amazing.


31 thoughts on “The Mom 2.0 Summit. Or, the one where I say thank you 172 times.”

  1. Wish I'd actually gotten a chance to talk with you, lady. So glad to hear you had a wonderful time! 🙂

  2. Your panel was one of my 2 favorites of the weekend. I utilized yours, Maggie and Erin's advice as soon as I left the room and landed myself a potentially awesome relationship with a brand I love.

    Thank you, thank you for taking the time to put together a hands-on panel that gave me the tools I need to get to the next level! Hopefully, I can thank you in person at the next conference!

  3. As much as I enjoyed Doug's “Dad Shack,” I hate that I missed some of the other great sessions you reference above. I don't supposed these are podcast anywhere, are they?

    If not, I'll just rely on the live blogging summaries from the Mom 2.0 site.

    Good seeing you again– mm

  4. Thank you, Liz. It's always a pleasure to hear you speak and I always learn something.

    And thank you for telling me about Mom 2.0 last spring and telling me to be sure to be there.

    I'm so glad that I listened to you. I always do.

  5. I've read so many wonderful things about the past Mom 2.0 Summit. It makes me think I should start having kids so I can be a part of it. :)Hopefully it will still be around in a few years… Or at least in 9 months.

  6. Yours was one of my favorite panels and I hope I captured that sentiment in my summary post on the Mom2 blog. I only wish I had time to sit and chat with you a bit this weekend, which is something I feel over and over about so many great women that were there and I only got time to wave and smile at. But I am grateful for the longer conversations I did get to have.

  7. Alice and Eden's panel was at the same time as our photo thing and that was my biggest (only?) regret about the whole experience. Thanks for the summary — I need to find the live blog.

    I love this conference, and feel similarly about the amazing surrounding me. I don't know how I landed here but I'm glad I did.

  8. So sad I missed your panel with Erin and Maggie, but really glad I finally got to meet you. You keep the writing/parenting-while-writing/looking-fabulously-young bar high for the rest of us.


  9. Thank YOU.

    Liz, not only are you one of the smartest women I know — you are also kind and generous. Smart people are cool and all, but a generous soul is worth so much more in my book.

    Your panel rocked. YOU rock.

  10. This post made my day…and I love that you started and ended with thanks…because that's how I feel about (and for) this entire experience. Thank you for speaking at Mom 2.0 (the panel was fantastic), and I'm super thankful to you (and to everyone) for coming to NOLA.

    I'm so glad you get it.

    Because I completely get that time away from family is a really big deal…that's one of the reasons it's a goal to make that time as rad as possible. (And seriously, moms spend most of our days caring for others in all kinds of ways…so if we can't ramp up the pampering a bit for moms, honestly…) (Also, whoever is planning teacher 2.0 and social worker 2.0 would agree.)

    All that to say, it's lovely to hear it was well received.

    And I'll end this as you did. Thank you.

  11. Awww – thanks. So happy to see your smiling face so much lately. To be continued in Florida! See you soon my friend.

  12. So very glad that you had a wonderful time at the conference. And so nice to have met you and talked to you in person. I hope I have the opportunity again sometime soon! 🙂

  13. Did I *say* you looked 30? Because I was definitely thinking it. It was great to finally meet you, and you killed at the Eiffel Society reading!

  14. Gah, you are making me all miss you already. I am imagining you all in New York. A New York filled with smart bloggers and hot beignets.

    It could happen.

  15. You and Shelly Kramer both stood out to me as “the chicks who know their stuff.”

    Your open and thoughtful insight was exactly what I was hoping for.

    I hope to get each of you alone in a room someday.

    I'll bring the beignets.

  16. It really was a spectacular gathering. I loved looking around at the attendees and thinking about how much these people meant to me.

    So glad to know you, Liz!

  17. I just tweeted (because that is what I do), that no matter how far social media goes – live meetups are so important. It also shows that people should not under-estimate the power of social media to create real connections/friendships. So consider this comment a cyber hug!

  18. That's definitely alot of “thank-you”s–I'm sure everyone mentioned appreciates it!

    I can especially relate to your mentioning of Nate's being around other chefs–and being most himself.

    Before my dad retired, he was always happiest at work, with fellow electricians. And my mom was always happiest among fellow nurses. It's a great feeling being around people who do similar work, and have similar ideas. I can definitely understand how you felt this way at the conference!

    I haven't been to New Orleans since 1991–the Cafe du Monde, especially with its beignets, makes me want to return, even more!

    Thank you for sharing this thoughful post with us!

  19. What a fabulous recap of the awesomeness that was the Mom 2.0 weekend. And thanks for the shout out! This was such a feel good post. Loved it!

  20. Sigh. Much I could say that's sappy and emotional, but you've heard it all before. So I'll just say this: 1) An alternative arrangement doesn't sound half bad, as long as Nate pays for the wine, 2) Rael's not the jealous type, so we're good, and 3) I really want to hang out with your kids, and I want you to meet mine.

    Mom 2.0 was indeed amazing. I can't wrap my head around a proper sum-up post so I'm not even going to try. The thing I'm left with is gratitude for these remarkable friendships we never thought would come with our geeky, alternative dabbling in blogging.

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