To say this year has been an unpredictable, insanely crazy, yet full of fun and blessings of new friendships would be an understatement. Anyone that knows me, knows I take a MILLION pictures. So I am going to show you my year from start to finish through the eye of my camera phone!!
This is how I rang out the old year and welcomed the new year. Sitting at work (Dave and Busters) crying off and on because it was the 2nd New Years in a row that I had to work and eating Chinese food. This was the fortune from my cookie. Little did I know that I would be having many short vacations throughout the year.
A little over a month after New Years my Hubby got a job offer to move back to Florida so we took it!! As soon as he got back from his work trip me and the girls hit the road. Along the way I finally got to me an online friend named Sherri and her adorable son DJ. I have known her for well over 10 years so finally getting to meet her was such a joy!! When we finally hit Florida I had to stop and get my favorite food from the south Zaxby’s!! YUMM-O! And as a special surprise I took the girls to Busch Gardens for Abbie’s 9th birthday!!! We had such a blast!!
My girls and I were soooooooo happy to finally be back in Florida. We rejoined the community pool and hit the beach a couple of times that first week! LOL
In between settling into a new house, painting and getting the kids adjusted to their new school I started doing more with my blog, since I now had more time. When May rolled around it was time for SheCon. The interesting part about this Blogger Conference is that I almost didn’t go. If it hadn’t been for divine intervention I wouldn’t have. When I first signed up for this conference I didn’t have the money to pay for the ticket. However, when it came to the payment section if gave me the option to pay at the registration desk, so I chose that. It wasn’t until a few days before the conference that I found out that out of every one that registered mine is the ONLY ONE that it gave that option to. Talk about a sign from God! Had that option not been there I wouldn’t have given it a second thought and not went. SheCon to me was AMAZING!! Not just because it was at my favorite place in the entire world, Disney World but because it was the beginning of some really amazing friendships and my start of truly making my blog grow. (The group photo above is just a few of the wonderful bloggers that I meant. From left to right, Jodi from FreetailTherapy, Barb from Ruralmom.com, Sam from Havesippywilltravel.com, Me, Grace from Blessedelements.com and Pam from Moms Mutterings.)
One of the things I got to do while at SheCon was to help Sam take pictures of the winners for her twitter party. The winner above from top right Jennifer from Double Duty Mommy (She cracks me up in the this picture, she was such a good sport with the wig!) (Not long after SheCon she invited me to go on a review trip in Palm Beach, we had such a great time!) , Middle left to right, I can’t remember her name but I will update it when it comes back to the front of my brain, the middle is Enza from Enza’s Bargains (She is such a sweet heart and was such a help with my blog when I had questions in the beginning), Kristy from Adventures of a Couponista (another life saver with all my blogging questions, she really helped walk me through something I was totally clueless on LOL), Bottom left to right, Barb from Rural Mom, Jennifer from My Boys and their Toys and last but certainly not least Gina Carr. One person who I have to mention that isn’t in any of my pictures is Brian from Central Florida Top 5. He has been such a great friend since I first met him! Another very important person that I have to mention is Dr. Daisy Sutherland from Dr.MommyOnline. I had the pleasure of listening to her speak and from the moment I heard her I felt like she was a true kindred spirit who was speaking my truth. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship as you will see later. The person who I have to say began my journey to have the wonderful friendships above is Nicole from Sisters from Another Mister. From the minute I joined the SheCon Facebook page she friended me like she had known me for years. She invited me to come up early after knowing me for such a short time. She truly reinforced my belief that there is good in people and for that I am forever grateful.I learned so much at the this conference but hands down the connections I made are what made for an amazing summer and fall!!
While I was a SheCon everyone kept asking me if I was going to Blogher in NYC. At the time the answer was no but as the time drew closer I began to really want to attend. My wonderful hubby and amazing daughter gave me the money as an early birthday present so that I could go! I am soooo unbelievably glad that I did. I got to meet some old friends and make new ones. In the top right corner I met Miss Lori. She is such a wonderful, inspiration person. Her smile is contagious and she makes you believe anything is possible. Below that is Choya from The Real Frugal Divas, Me and Sam at Getting Gorgeous. We had such a blast in the Downy photo booth. Below that is Sam, Me and Karon from Mamas Cool Things in Time Square goofing off. (There was A LOT of goofing off that weekend LOL). Below that was the FREAKING AMAZING Unicorn cake at the Sparklecorn party at Blogher. WOW!! To the left of that is another online friend Crystal from Simply Being Mommy. I have known her for over 10 years and never met her. She is the sweetest, kind-hearted person you will every meet. Next to that is me with Alison from Being Alison. She is a sweet heart. I met her online and she is a very genuine person. I was really excited to meet her in person because most of my online friends I have never met.
Above is an amazing picture of NYC from a top a roof top party I was invited too. LOVED the view. To the right are some of the celebrities I got to meet at Blogher and LOVE to pieces. I was super excited to meet Vanessa Minnillo at SocialLuxe, Below that is The Sun (I was like a little kid when I saw him LOL) and below that is one of the most FAVORITE people I had the pleasure of meeting this year Dana from Dragyn Ally. We first met on Twitter and from the moment we started tweeting each other about My Big Fat Gypsy Social Soiree I knew we would be friends forever! LOL After I got back from Blogher I had no idea how much my life was going to change…Again! LOL
Not long after getting back from Blogher, Jenn from Double Duty Mommy was telling me about the Niche Mommy Conference in New Orleans that she was going too. Since I had never been to New Orleans I was intrigued. So I decided to attend a Twitter party they were having and to my shock and amazement I WON a ticket to the conference and a room at the Hotel!! Talk about shocked! All I had to do was pay for the plane ticket. So after to chatting with Hubby, I decided to go!! To say this was by far the BEST CONFERENCE you will ever go to is an understatement. Not only is the conference a good solid wealth of information that you can use from the jump but the relationships you will make are far greater because of the time and attention that is built into the schedule to allow you to really get to know the other bloggers there. From left to right in the picture above, My awesome roommate Kelly from 3 Boys and a Dog ( Best Roommate AWARD WINNER for SURE!!), Bourbon Street (Oh the crazy things you see done that street LOL), My Amazing partners in crime for the weekend, Kelly, Tiffany from Fabulous Mom Blog, Annie from MamaDweeb, and Me. Oh the stories I could tell you about our fun times on Bourbon Street but What happens in New Orleans..Stays in New Orleans! LMAO The bottom picture was all of us on the balcony of the Bourbon Heat bar throwing beads. That was entirely too much fun! LOL
The above pictures are some of my most memorable ones from the Niche Mommy Conference. (Top L to R) The first picture is of 3 AMAZING women who I had the pleasure of hearing speak and who I am very proud to call friends today. They are Sili from My Mamihood, Joscelyn from Mami of Multiples, and Yadira from Club de las Diosis. These are some of the most intelligent, social media savy, kind-hearted, giving women you will ever meet. I have been incredibly blessed since meeting them not only professionally but personally as well. The second picture is Tiffany. She snuck out with me one afternoon to ride the trolley to the garden district. It was so nice to just sit, relax and breathe fresh air. She is such a sweet person and we had fun on our little adventure. The next picture is of Dr. Daisy Sutherland, who I mentioned hearing speak for the first time at SheCon. Getting to hear her speak again was just fantastic. She knows how to empower you and make you believe in yourself. I highly recommend that you go hear her speak if she comes to your area. I was lucky enough to also get to know her a little better thanks to a hurricane that happened to be coming our way and our chats during all airline drama. On Saturday night I got a notification from Southwest ( I love Southwest Airlines!!) that the second half of my return flight was canceled. So I began to tweet to everyone at the conference to check their flights. I was able to rebook my flight entirely which was fantastic. The next morning I ran into Dr. Daisy and she asked me about my flight. Since hers was canceled I told her to try to book a seat on my flight. Thankfully she got a standby ticket and off we went to the airport. With lots of prayers she made in on the flight to Tampa and home to her family. (Bottom L to R) The first picture is of the Niche Mommy Conference Signature drink, the Nichetini, created at Bourbon Heat. Trust me is was sooo yummy. The next picture is of a burning fountain at the famous Pat O’Briens in New Orleans. They are known for their Hurricane drinks that will knock your socks off! LOL The last picture is of my partners in crime, Kelly, Me, Annie and Tiffany. We had such a wonderful night drinking our way down Bourbon Street. I love these girls they are beyond fantastic!!
Some of the other highlights of the year were more birthdays. Which included me taking Mandi to Disney World for the first time. Her being able to realize that dreams do come true will forever be a magical memory for me. Emma loved her Cuddleuppets Birthday cake and still talks about it. My son Gabe turned 13 marking the beginning of the teen years for him and my need for more migraine medication. LOL I got a visit from my closest friend back home, Beth. She came down and spent the day at the beach with her girls and mine. Can’t wait for her next visit. My oldest son, Tyler, came down to surprise his little sister (& biggest fan) Emma. Her face was priceless when she saw him. I took Gabe to Miami for the WiiU sneek peak event. I sooo need to get one of those soon. On the bottom, the girls and I all dressed up for Halloween. And my Husband decided that he was going in drag this year. LOL The last picture is of me waiting in line to vote. What a crazy line but just shows you how important it is to exercise the right that many have died protecting. Always VOTE people no matter if it is a Presidential or local election because every vote counts.
These last two pictures are how my year ended. After a really bad Thanksgiving, that saw my husband losing his job, I didn’t know how we were ever going to provide Christmas for the kids. Thanks to my family, some of the best online friends you will ever know, and God we had a fantastic Christmas. And for the first time in our marriage me and Scott got to go out (We went to my friend Lisa’s house) for New Year’s Eve. As you can see this has been quite a year. But I learned that anything is possible if you just Believe!! Here’s to another incredible insanely crazy 2013!!