our angel in the sky ((Haley Ellen))

nearly 19 years ago, an angel was taken from my family. Haley Ellen was born asleep on May 2nd and i lost my sister. i was four years old at the time, and couldn’t make much sense of it. nor do i really remember much of anything besides what i’ve seen in pictures. throughout this past year i’ve felt an indescribable connection with my baby sister. i can’t put it into words, but i’ve been undeniably aware that she’s around. last night i had the most beautiful dream of her. many of the details are vague but we were reunited together. she looked a lot like me, a little darker hair and petite. blue eyes, dark blonde hair. and the sweetest thing you’ve ever met. this is the first time i can remember having a dream of her; i’ve thought of her tons, but never had a full dream with her. i woke up with my eyes full of tears and a smile in my heart. she knew i needed her; that i needed to be reminded that she is there, watching over me and the rest of the family. that everything will be ok.

isn’t it strange how you can miss someone so much that you never met. we had to say goodbye before we got the chance to say hello. i believe that things happen for a reason; but i don’t know that i will ever understand why she was taken so quickly. i suppose that God needed a beautiful angel right away. and if we would have to to keep her, i might not have my little brother. things have a way of working out the way they were supposed to, which is often not the way we thought way would. but God has a bigger, better plan. but wow, do i miss her. i know she is up there though; hanging out with gpa marlo & gpa paul, cousin dana, and neighbor lorraine. looking down and smiling. thank you for reminding me you’re there, our little angel in the sky. i love you bunches. xoxo

[flying solo] what happened in vegas…

prelude (written before boarding the plane to the conference): i can remember when i was a little girl  and my business savvy momma would talk about her different business trips and conferences she was traveling to, and i would think to myself, “self, one day you will go on a conference like that.” and then i got an internship at a cool place and got to travel to assist in the management of a user conference for upwards of 700 people. and i thought, “wow, that was awesome!” and then i got to travel alone to manage my team at a conference in dallas on my lonesome. and i thought, “wow, i’m getting all grown up!” and then a couple months ago my boss passed on some info on this conference shed like me to attend. and i thought to myself, “WOW. that one day is now today.” and I must say I’m still in a little bit of shock. here I am; 22, not even a year out of college, and I am going to a legit event management conference. by myself. to learn, and get educated, and get smarter (if at all possible), and network with people who are crazy organizing and social media lovers like me, and learn from people who’ve been doing this forever. am I dreaming?! i am a mix of so many emotions right now. nervous, anxious, excited, scared, pumped, intimidated, jazzed, etc. I have traveled by myself before, but was never going to be completely along once I got there. am i ready for this? oh yes, i am. look mom, I’m all grown up! 

this past week i had the privilege of attending EXHIBITOR2012 at the mandalay bay in las vegas, nv. a conference solely focused on event/ tradeshow management, marketing, and social media. as i stated earlier, i was pretty flipping jazzed to be in attendance at this event. and looking back over the past week, (warning: cheesy statement approaching), i really can hardly put it into words. (told ya). but it truly was an amazing, exhausting, motivating, empowering, educational, enjoyable, memorable and legit experience. as i summarized in a Facebook status…

5 days; 16 sessions; 30 pages of notes; 3 pairs of stilettos; 2 dented shoulders from laptop bag; 1 cirque du soleil show; 8ish glasses of wine; 4 hours sleep a night; countless new connections; mind FULL of ideas and excitement – thank you EXHIBITOR :)

ive been home for several days now an i am still trying to recover from lack of sleep and influx of brilliance. seriously, 16 sessions in 4 days; was i taking crazy pills when i made that decision?! well no, i wasn’t, but man oh man will that take a lot out of a girl. but since it was my first experience i am so glad that i made the decision to go all out. some sessions were epic, thought provoking and innovative and others… were not those things. there were no “bad sessions,” just sessions that were less awesome than others. its all part of the experience, there are so many sessions offered its hard to decide which ones you think will be best. sometimes your spot on and other times you miss the mark. my favorite part were the roundtables though; and not ((only)) because of the free beverages. to get to really interact in discussion with my peers was so awesome. overall though, i learned a lot, made new connections, realized i’m pretty damn good at my job already, and was made aware of ways to make us even better. but the best thing that i gained at the conference was a confirmation and realization that i am madly passionate and obsessed with social media. i almost had to laugh at myself during the roundtable in regards to social media because i would become so passionate in my comments and responses. i just want to share the love of amazingness of social media with others, and help them see the doors that open when you learn how to use the platforms correctly. i am without a doubt a social media diva and proud of it. a  i knew i really liked social media before, but our relationship has gotten much more serious. more to come on my adventures in strengthening that relationship. :) as well as continue my relationships with my new friends and connections i made in vegas; met some pretty awesome people there and exciting to keep tabs on one another!

whew. i’m exhausted just reminiscing about last weeks conference. i think i need a nap, or a cocktail.  in the meantime here are some pics capturing some of the adventures i had in vegas; because as they say, “what happens in vegas, stays on the Internet.” enjoy, friends.

my ballin’ suite at THEhotel

too legit to quit! my official badge

tower of wine – what’s not to love?

the closest i got to the pool; was beautiful though!

views of mandalay bay/ THEhotel… and when i realized i was lost…

night one: enjoying the dancing waters at the bellagio

las vegas at night; priceless

day one: got my business sexy outfit on and ready to rock!

night two: dinner with strangers  – the gee wiz; YUM!

night two: RM Seafood (dinner w/ strangers) best sushi ever.

LOVED the huge representation of MN!

night 3: adventures with Rob & Chelsey; New, York New, York!

chelsey and me with our bobble head

zoomanity! enough said. 

after nearly 3 days of searching i found diet coke!

night three: dinner w/ strangers at lupo – YUM!

MAWC roundup [i’m chasing my dreams]

uff da! and wow! and that’s all i have to say about that…. just kidding, but seriously. i got from the Market America World Conference very late sunday or very early monday, whichever way you’d like to look at it. and i’m still trying to wrap my head around all of the amazingness that happened. all i can say is that it truly is one of those “you had to be there” experiences, because it is indescribable. sure, i could tell you all about the 25,000 people in the AA arena; about the celebrities i got to see; about the bomb{dot}com products we’ve come out with (intenseFX); about how legit our corporate team is at delivering all you could ask for and more; that we are ahead of the curve when it comes to the social shopping revolution; that we offer the best products in any category; about the epic dance parties; the stories that tug on your heartstrings; about how unbelievably amazing and wonderful my ma family/team is; about the partying, the learning, the joking, the laughing, the crying; about how flipping motivation it was… but you will not be even close to understanding what i mean with all of that. the feeling of being completely surrounded by thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs that are going after their dreams, that are the most powerful, positive, motivational people i have ever had the blessing/pleasure to meet. mind = blown. and if you really do want to learn more about this epic, dream catching, business… i would be MORE than happy to visit with you. and learn about how i can help you make your dreams come true. because as our president, founder and CEO, JR Ridinger says, “always dream big, because you will never be bigger than your dreams.”

to my MA family: from the bottom of my heart i thank each and every one of you for an unforgettable time in Miami; i am thankful and blessed to know you and have you as a part of my life. i believe in you and cannot wait to be there as your accomplish your dreams. watch out world; we are coming. i love you guys! xoxo

here are some of my favorite moments:

rise and shine at the airport

mike and i had a 4 hour layover in detroit; doing some zzz’s and reading

night 1: hard rock cafe

of course, i can never miss a chance to bust some zumba moves

part of the team waiting for the doors to open!

we rocked that AA arena

brooke and i learned wine does NOT belong in the freezer…

YRR

good lookin’ team ready to yacht it up:)

karly and me

steve and mike rockin’ the duck face

and the dance party begins…

fist pumpin’

givin’ brooke some lovin’

me and my best friends mom <3

last night: nikki beach

donna, brooke and me before leaving