You’re one of the best parts of Mom 2.0 for Me. – Love Alice
Those words were scribbled across a piece of paper and slid in my general direction by someone who I JUST met at my first Mom 2.0 conference last year. She had requested me as a friend a couple of weeks before, and I let her sit in my queue until I could see her in person and size her up properly. I found her sitting in one of the sponsor suites that day last year, and plopped down dramatically and said “Hey! I’m Natasha, you requested me as a friend a while back, and I just wanted to make sure you’re not crazy.” She blinked a couple of times at my randomness, and then let out the biggest laugh. Right then and there I knew that I had a friend, but I didn’t know just how much of a friendship I was starting. You see, that’s the thing about Alice Chase. She works her way into your heart before you know it, and it’s as if you’ve been friends for decades. I would see her again several times in that year, and each time, we’d pick up where we left off and end our conversations with laughter and encouragement for the other.
This year, Mom 2.0 was unreal. Like, it felt like an entire church service to me. I know, I know. Let me explain. You know how when you’re in deep consecration with the Lord, you’re open to hearing only those things that He sends. This year, that’s what this conference was. From her note passed to me, to Clarissa Laskey from Clarissa Explains It All telling the story of my series with Nathaniel before he leaves for school, to Laurie White – Community Manager extraordinaire trusting me yet again to work alongside her to finally, the roommate that beats all roommates – Michelle Garrett from Divas With A Purpose. The person who I connected with at another blog conference in 2014 – who allowed me to room with her randomly, and now she’s one of the FIRST people I call with any news. The good, the bad, the ugly.
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I'm not able to say just how much I appreciate @divamdgarrett because there aren't enough words. She's heard me celebrate. She's heard me cry. She's heard me fuss. She's heard me mourn. Through it all she's been the epitome of grace, firmness, and support. We're celebrating our 2nd Iris Awards ceremony together and we're both nominated in categories near and dear to us. I love her. Fiercely. #Mom2Summit #IrisAwards
I’ll actually do a recap post of Mom 2.0 because there were some GEMS dropped for the three days that we were there, but the most important things happened in the midst of it all. Hugs (YES HUGS) from the people who have grown into my extended family. Tears of joy, of surprise, of pride falling from the moment folks touched down in the Langham Pasadena until the end of the Iris Awards. The cheers, the gentle and not so gentle nudges for us to walk into our greatness. The support was bananas, and one of the very best parts of Mom 2.0 for me.
I should have known it was going to be a special conference when I found out that Alice, Laurie and I were slated to greet Mom 2 first timers, and greet them we did! Alice let them know that she never takes a bad photo, Laurie showed them her warm teacher persona, and I – well, all I could do was be me. Letting folks know that we were here to support them, but we also were made up of a network of more than 800 women in the space. Sorry men, you’re still welcome to come though.
The Iris Awards didn’t let me down either. Seeing faces that looked like mine walking up and accepting awards. Hearing Brandi stand firmly in her awesomeness and proclaim “I deserve this!” Having LaShawn thank us for seeing her memories, it all brought home the message that what we do is important AND amazing.
As I continue to find pieces of confetti in my hair a full week after the conference concluded, I’ll forever be reminded that I’ve chosen to surround myself with women who are true friends. True supporters, and truly the best part of Mom 2.0