Socializing at a blog conference

Being married to an Aspie (aspergers), and having all Aspie kids my family doesn’t like to socialize. BUT I am VERY social and I love being around lots of people! We compromise, I get to do social things, but I don’t force my family to socialize with me. Like Girls night out’s and, my favorite, Blog conferences like IFBC.

(my first blog conference with Kari, Becky, Char, me, Michelle, Michelle and Kara)

When we first moved to Salt Lake I was really lonely. My husband was out of work and at home all the time, but not really home, not happy and depressed. We were living with my in-laws, and that was new and strange. Certainly not ideal, but we were/are grateful (and over the last 4 years we’ve grown closer and it’s much better/easier now).

(my second blog conference EVO with Allison, Alma and me)

Also We live in a MUCH older neighborhood so there was no one at all close to my age, or at the same stage of life as me. No friends for me or my kids. I missed my last ward/neighborhood and friends. My weekly cooking with my girlfriends had been amazing and now it was all gone! And to top it off we had just received the diagnosis of the kids and my world was clearly a bit upside down.

(at my 3rd conference, creative estates with Kendra)

I had been food blogging for a few years, but not very seriously, or regularly. Then I discovered craft blogs, and started following other bloggers for the first time. Then I heard about a blog conference, AND it was local, so even though I didn’t know a soul I went!!

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(My 4th conference, EVO again 7 months pregnant, pool jumping)

It was amazing, for the first time in the year I had been living in Utah I spent time with people my own age, with similar interests, it was amazing! Then a few months later another conference, even better. The next two years I attended a few conferences each year.

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(I won the hand stand contest – with Marie, Jamielyn and Kami)

Then last year it just didn’t work out, so no conferences, nothing. It’s been a rough year for me. When my youngest turned 1 I was hit with the realization that realizing this stage (babies) is over for me.

(my 5th Conference, SNAP with me, Leanne, Amy, Jonie and Gwen)

Don’t get me wrong, I love every stage for various reasons. BUT knowing that the stage I’m naturally built for is over, and the rest of my life is full of stages, that while still fun, are more of a challenge for me is bit depressing. So it’s been hard. And being without that social vacation that reinvigorates me has been extra hard.

Breathing Space Blogger Retreat
(my 6th conference, breathing space, with Leisha, Kim and me)

So I’ve been trying to keep myself from getting depressed. I’ve been writing a cookbook! It’s been really crazy, but fun. I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

(at my 7th conference, EVO, with Molly, me, Sachiko, Lolo and Alice)

And next month I’m attending my first Food conference, IFBC! I’ve been to a few different types of conferences, but never a food conference. I’m nervous all of a sudden, I’m out of praise socializing and making friends. And food bloggers are totally different than the other bloggers so I don’t know what to expect, but I’m putting on my big girl panties and I’m going to have an adventure!

What do you do when your facing something a bit scary?

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Ashlee has been cake decorating for 9 year, and blogging for 7+. She has 5 children ages 3-13 that she enjoys throwing parties for. She loves to bake, cook, crochet, knit, do home improvement, graphic design, photography and writing.
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  1. says

    What a really good post. It is very raw, and very real. It’s amazing how you never know what someone is dealing with in their personal lives when they seem so bubbly on the outside. I’m so happy that the conferences are your outlet and also happy/slightly jealous that you get to go to a food blogging one next month! I hope you have the best time!

  2. says

    I am the same way. Blogging and the friends I have made from it have kept me sane and helped keep my head up when I otherwise would get depressed. Have fun at your conference!!

  3. says

    What an honest and heartfelt post! I’m sure it wasn’t easy to share such a vulnerable time for your family. Thanks for sharing how your outlook can change any situation and help you grow.

  4. says

    I have heard that conference is amazing. You will have the best time! Seriously, I don’t know what I would do without blogging. It’s like my outlet to the real world; outside of being a mom and being with kids all day. :) It’s what every mama needs. I loved looking at all these pictures over the years- seriously so much fun!

    • says

      I wish you were coming! Jess and I are going to have a ball, but it would have been fun to have more rommies we know and love! It was so much fun looking over all these old conferences, and seeing how much I’ve changed. That first conference was the first time I did a fauxhawk on my hair! And it stuck!!!

  5. says

    Hi Ashlee, what a great and honest post. It will be my first bloggers conference this year, and I am new to America to. So, it will be a lot of firsts. Hopefully we get to meet sometime during the conference.

    • says

      Def! How fun, coming all that way! I’ve heard amazing things about this conference and am getting SO excited! And I’m pretty easy to spot, bright purple fauxhawk, and I’m fairly tall too! I’m SURE we’ll meet up!

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