I love the word “glow.” And its definition per Merriam-Webster of “warmth or feeling of emotion” perfectly describes the sensations you experience at a Mom 2.0 Summit. That glow was intensified this year with the first Iris Awards, celebrating the best in the parent blogging community.
This year in Atlanta was my third time going to Mom 2.0 Summit. It’s become my go-to parent blogging conference because of that glow I feel during and after. But this was my first year actually feeling a part of that glow as a speaker and even one of eight presenters at the Iris Awards. Talk about an honor!
I know so many of you think that at this point in my blogging career I get called for these opportunities just like that. You’re wrong. I still put myself out there, a lot. I had meant to submit a proposal to speak at Mom 2.0 this year, but I either forgot, got too shy, busy or all of the above. Point is that when the first round of speakers were announced I scrolled down the list and didn’t see a single Latina at the time. My heart sank because I knew that most probably very, very few Latina bloggers had submitted a proposal to speak, so that would make it our fault for not being represented.
No me pude quedar callada, and I sent Laura Mayes, Mom 2.0 co-founder, an email offering to fill in any last-minute spot on any panel she thought I’d be a good fit for. I mentioned how I realized that our lack of underrepresentation was probably our community’s fault and that this being my third year attending, and how I had bought my ticket last year the day the early bird was announced, I felt comfortable approaching her because I was close to a groupie.
Guess what? She emailed me back within FIVE minutes. TEN minutes later, kid you not, I had the official speaker invitation email. That’s Laura. She knows what she knows and she’s amazing at it.
A few weeks later I received the news that I’d be speaking on a panel titled “Hot Topics: What’s New? What’s Next? What’s Now? And What’s Most Important?” with these Sexy Beasts, as we decided to call ourselves: Elan Morgan @schmutzie, Stacey Ferguson @JusticeFergie, Titania Jordan @titaniajordan, and Christine Koh @MinParenting.
My glow was set in overdrive by then knowing I’d be in amazing company for my first panel at Mom 2.0.
Then came The Iris Awards. Laura invited me to be one of the 50 on the nominating committee. Guys, this thing was for real! They consulted with organizers of the top notch awards shows like the Academy Awards and Emmy to make sure that the whole nominating and voting process was as neutral and transparent as possible. So I nominated and then all past attendees of a Mom 2.0 Summit were elegible to vote on the nominees.
But that’s not all. A few days before my actual trip to Atlanta, I have another glowing email from Laura in my inbox. She wanted to know if I’d like to present an award with Heather Spohr of The Spohrs are Multiplying. ¡Pero por supuesto! ¡Ni lo dudé! After the exclamation points in my response, my only question was, “We’ll have a telemprompter, right?” Because, ummm, brain cells.
Atlanta was lovely. The Four Seasons Buckhead was beautiful. My roommates, Laura of Momables and Jyl of Mom It Forward, made it hard to sleep, but filled my soul. The speakers, presenters and panelists knew their thing. The sponsors were one of us. The red carpet was not intimidating. The dancing was oh-so-needed. The Iris Awards were beyond any expectations. They were for real. Like for realssssss.
The whole thing was just one big GLOW.
And, yes, I bought my ticket for 2015 the day it was announced, because we will for sure carry on that glow to Scottsdale, AZ!
There were, in fact, a few (very few) other Latinas presenting. If any of my fellow Latina bloggers are reading this, put yourself out there. Send a speaking proposal to Mom 2.0 or to many of the other great conferences out there. Doors are waiting to be opened, but you have to knock and even push a little, con una gran sonrisa, ¡por supuesto!