The Hundred, day by day, moment by moment: an essay that is very, very, long.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I've let it marinate a few days and even had a day up at the lake so now I think I'm ready to dive into all that was THE HUNDRED EVENT.  Again, unnecessary drama.  (Like the other day.)

And this is long, quite long, but as always I'm interspersing all the jokes so as not to bore you.

Leaving, for me anyway, was suuuuper emotional.  A little, "get ahold of yourself Bridget" as I wiped the tears from my face.  But, you know, I've learned to own it.  I'm the emotional mother type.  A homebody who also loves to travel, and I'm not making apologies for it anymore!  I cried!  Yes I did!  More than once!  I woke up at 2:30 am after going to sleep at 12:30 (no matter how many times I tell myself, "I'll pack before the last minute" it never happens.  Ever.  Ever.  Ever.) to get on a bus to Boston by 3:15 am and then onto a 5:45 flight.  I managed to hold back the tears once at the bus stop and then had the happy discovery that Megan was up with pregnancy insomnia or nausea or something at 3 am while I was on the bus.  Her puking, my blessing.  We texted much of my way to Boston.

Lauren and Grace picked me up at the airport and meeting them was soooo great.  I'm sure you've read this ad nauseum and you're like, "Girls, stop fawning over each other," but it felt like old friends hanging out and not at all like we were seeing each other for the first time.  I guess that's what reading one another's blogs and a few thousand texts and emails sprinkled in will do.  Carrying on.
{Myself, Jenni, Megan}

Back at the ranch (hotel) we switched it into high gear pretty quickly and started setting up.  I was all, "I'll just nap a little once I get there and before things begin."  NO.  This blogger's conference life is not for the faint of heart.  Or the weak.  I'm both.

I'm gonna give this one a "click to read more" option cause it be long.




Name tags and binders and number balloons (once you've got giant number balloons, you know you're legitimate.  The mark of a true blogger's conference!  And painted nails but I failed on the latter.) and introductions.  I sat at the registration table for awhile, saying hi to all of you lovely women (all of whom were really lovely and gracious and didn't mind if I had to ask for their name a second time which I did have to do though it never fails to make me feel like a total shit head.).  Then, I left the table to stuff goodie bags (with fun stuff from Joules, Bungalow Magazine, Minnetonka, Minted to name a few).  A quick change in my hotel room where a gorgeous Love Ophelia robe was waiting for me and then the Friday night dinner would begin!  I considered donning the robe that evening but thought better of it--a snap decision before I headed out the door--and instead went with my Joules dress (three cheers for the dress just happening to fit my ever-changing body, thank you Joules!).  Gosh, and a huge thank you to Paige of Awake Photography who was our behind-the-scenes photographer nearly the entire weekend leaving us hands-free!  
Friday night was really nice.  The place looked really pretty and it was altogether strange and wonderful seeing all these women pour in who actually signed up for a conference you, along with three others (especially them and their hard work!) put together.  The night's main agenda was Kendi of Kendi Everyday and I couldn't mean this more but she is an incredibly sweet and lovely person.  I had the pleasure of sitting next to her and Bryan at dinner and they're salt of the earth.  Her talk was so relatable and I found myself nodding through a lot of it.    
Her talk also inspired The Contemplative Hands, the Jazz Hands, and the Sure Why Not Hands!  

After dinner, I'm sure a lot of women enjoyed drinks in the Library Bar (whatever ladies, I saw the pictures) but not this gal.  I headed back to my room, into my robe, and to bed.  Not before first checking in on the home front and getting pictures of their day via text.  Kind women kept inquiring to how I felt and the answer was, "Good!  But tired!"  Having nothing to do with pregnancy and all to do with no sleep the night before and a semi-introvert being an extrovert for several hours straight.
Saturday morning was breakfast at Breadwinners.  Yum.  I had the strawberry waffle, eggs, and frozen latte.  And I sweat some because, woah, Texas in the summer is hot.  Straight on through the day.  I sunk into a sloooow lethargy with my waffle and was like, "I need to not wear pants in Texas."  I changed back at the hotel.  I talked with Lauren, Grace, Sarah, Emily, and Amanda most of breakfast.  Amanda got the migas.  They looked really delicious and made me second-guess my waffle for a second until I had a bite.

Then, a talk with Curt Steinhorst, in part on distraction, in which he challenged us not to look at our phones for the duration of his talk and I failed miserably.  (In part because I was planning out the day and where I had to be and when and in part because... I had to text William at the homefront!)  Did you know there is software that actually SHUTS OFF YOUR INTERNET while you need to get work done?  Me neither.  (And after this talk, the kindest reader Allyson came over and introduced herself, and she was just totally charming.  And when I had to ask her name a second time, you can bet I really felt like a shit head!  But seriously, Allyson, thank you so much for introducing yourself.  You made my day.)

Then it was off to host a talk about building your business with Stacy Reeves who is a genius.  She knows so much and takes such gorgeous pictures.  At one point I threw my hands up and exclaimed, "I QUIT."  Seriously.  I was furiously taking notes even though some would say I should already know such things?  Mind-blowing.  

Off to lunch!  (I'm having a difficult time recollecting the order of things because this day was crazy packed and because my brain is working at half-capacity.)  Hosted by the ladies of Twine Interiors.  Delicious salad, pizza, and a smores calzone.  I initially tried to be a lady and take like two pieces of pizza and then realized that was a huge mistake and I got up several more times for more pizza and more salad.  The key word in that sentence was more.  It was really good, okay?
Back at the ranch (that joke is just so good), I hosted a talk on social media and branding with Bungalow Mag, Pulp Designs, Casey Wiegand, and Lily Jade.  Those women are such smart women, many of whom also have families at home but are making it happen in the business world too.  It was pretty cool and I really enjoyed their perspective--often, different ones as they're all in the social media world but doing entirely different things.  
{the ladies doing their thing; side note: Casey, gimme that necklace}

After that, I hosted Jenni's photography session (Austin-based photographer, ya'll!  And a darn good one too) where she, in one session (a feat of strength!), talked through shooting manual and lighting and ISO and all that good stuff and had a fabulous powerpoint to accompany it.  Thank you Jenni!  It was really good.
I jet out of there to run up a few floors to the presidential suite (like Pretty Woman, minus some of the scandal + Richard Gere) to pop some champagne for Kendi's fashion styling session (which also had some Dilettante collection and dude, her culebra pant is awesome) and then back down the elevator to Casey's prop styling session.  You've seen her Instagram right?  It's a beautiful one.  My highlight: I showed my new friend Katie that you can access your camera from the lock screen of the iPhone.  She said it revolutionized her life and then I felt like I had the keys to the universe.  It took me .02 seconds to come back to reality.  Sweaty armpits will do that to a girl.

After that session, I chatted with the ever so sweet Casey for about five minutes (too brief, too brief) before we went our separate ways.  And then I went back up to the room and probably back into my robe for the brief moments I had before dinner.  Again, checking in on the home front where things were going swimmingly.  I had even prepared a chicken divan casserole for my people before I left because I'm a good woman and because I have control issues.
{Em getting in her grilled cheese order at Ruthie's while also looking very boho-chic}

Next up!  Are you still with me?  Dinner at Peacock Alley hosted by Milieu.  This was in a cool side of town--is it the art district?  Dallas people?--and there were all these pretty white tables set up with champagne and white wine and a food truck (yes, they can go together) and Steel City Pops (blood orange!).  And a bunch of giveaways that I failed to enter, dammit, but where people won really cool things like Peacock Alley bedding and Milieu Magazine subscriptions.
Side note: I'm still thinking about the "Italian Hippy" (chicken, mozz, pesto, tomato) from Ruthie's.  It was really, really, really good.  I need to replicate it soon.  Probably when I finish this post.  And, to those who didn't attend, all this good food and drink was part of the cost of attending.  Put away your wallets.

I got to really sit and chat with people this night which was so welcome after the previous 24 hours of running around.  That was sort of the best part for me.  This night I mostly chatted with Grace, Blythe, Katie, and Katrina and those women are pretty friggin' cool.  I would've enjoyed sitting and picking their brains on parenting for a good four hours or so.  So much wisdom (and some laughter too).  And if I'm leaving anyone off, my sincerest apologies and I mean that!

The next morning was the final morning of the Hundred and was brunch at the gorgeous Aldredge House.  It was the perfect send-off, in my humble opinion, because it was really beautiful, and a more leisurely time to hang out, talk, eat before everyone departed back to their homeland.  Look at this place!
Jenni of J. Noel Photography and Brittany of Birch and Brass (wedding in Texas?  Seriously check her rentals out!) were already hard at work setting up and photographing.  They did such a nice job.  The fabulous Shalyn arrived then to take head shots with Jenni and of the rest of the event.  
We ate a chilled avocado soup (it goes by a much fancier name that escapes me at the moment) and quiche and salad.  I love quiche.  It bears repeating: I love quiche.  We also had these incredible cakes by Cake Walk that weren't just pretty but also delicious.  I ate someone else's.  They'd vacated their seat, it was fair game.  Pistachio, confetti, or strawberry!  I had all but pistachio.  (FYI: I'm pretty sure they had vacated their seat for good, like back to the airport.)
After brunch, I talked with Nell, Dayna, Andrea and Meggan.  Then I sat with Sarah for awhile and talked for even longer.  Gems, all of 'em.  Everyone had, myself included, really relaxed by this point, I think.  It can be overwhelming--throwing oneself into a blogging conference.  Time and relationships helped, as did prosecco, I'm sure.   People asked if we were going to do this again to which we replied... maybe!  Oh!  And I'm forgetting about the giveaway which was so fun.  Meg-Made provided these gorgeous balloons full of confetti and with a number inside them.  Everyone popped their balloon and then, depending on their number, went in to the dining room to pick a gift.  And Natalie announced that everyone got to get a pair of Joules wellies too.  That was fun.
I didn't fly back till Monday morning so Sunday after the brunch was spent in the robe (it's becoming a theme) watching Megan eat the leftover cake with ice tongs and talking with Stephen.  Also in a robe.  Megan, not Stephen.  I actually have a picture but I'm not sure she'd appreciate my posting it.  Then we went out that night for Lauren's 30th!  Happy birthday Lauren, you hustler you.
You ladies were all so great.  So great.  Whether or not I was able to have any sort of conversation with you at length or not, you were all wonderful, your presence was appreciated, and I hope to see you again.  I wish there'd been more time!  With all of you!  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart (getting sappy!), for coming to this event, our very first.  Thank you for being there while we figured this whole thing out, and for being patient with us if there were any snags.  Thank you for the kindness you showed, and for the laughter you brought.  Thank you for introducing yourselves and for forgiving me if I had to ask your name a second time.

And a special thanks to Stephen Graham and Tyler Knight for carting us around, carrying projectors from place to place, and generally making sure things were under control.  That's Megan and Lauren's husbands, respectively.

P.S. Thank you to the sweet Olivia for the chocolates too.  And Britt, I will take you up on that old fashioned in about a year.

Thank you to our official sponsors: Joules, Lily Jade, Minnetonka, Twine, Milieu, Peacock Alley, and Bungalow.  We couldn't have done this without you.  No, really, we couldn't have.  

Okay, now I really am going to go replicate that grilled cheese.  Or find someone who can do it for me.  Yes, definitely the second one.  Steve?

Above photos: Paige, Jenni, my own camera and iPhone (the better ones are theirs, every time.).

Meanwhile, upon returning home...

Look who I found at the airport back in Boston?  Before I left, I told Steve to just pull up and I'd hop in the car, but ever the surpriser, (seriously, he loves to surprise and I mostly hate being surprised.  But this, this was a good one.) he parked and as I walked through the doors to baggage claim I saw Parker from afar waving furiously from Steve's shoulders.  I cried.  A shoeless (Dad's are good at most things) Parker hugged me and hugged me and separated himself only to look me like, "Is she real?"  

We're pretty attached.

William and Lindsey were at friends' houses, feeling a little less forlorn about my having left (teens!) but greeted me happily upon returning home.  And it was really nice to be home, with all my people and in my space.  I loved being gone, I loved being home.  Ah, the push and pull.     
This picture was just a reenactment once we'd already greeted each other for a good 15 minutes.  I did not wait for anything, even an Instagram!, to get my hands on that child.  I definitely greeted Steve too, don't feel bad for the guy.

And I think I'm really finished.  Did you get this far?  You get one hundred dollars.

21 comments:

  1. This makes me sad and happy all at the same time! Sad because I want to go back to this weekend and happy because it was the best ever. Ohhhh that push and pull :)

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    1. i know, i knowwwww! miss you! (also, note in the mail to you!!) :)

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  2. I think you meant "marinate" (the verb) vs "marinade" in your recap's first sentence. Looks like a great conference with an inspiring group of women!!!

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    1. i think you're right! changed :) (i always appreciate grammatical corrections, seriously!)

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  3. Thank you so much for writing that long!! recap, Bridget! I'm soaking up every post and picture I can find, because while reading it, I feel like I was there. The event looks perfect, hats off to you, ladys. So glad you were able to go and had so much fun. And of course, thank you all for the reenactment, I really appreciate the effort ;)

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    1. i would love to meet you!! and you're welcome -- glad you made it to the end... such a long post!!

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  4. This sounds so wonderful! I hope you host another (in Boston?!?!)... I'd love to attend.

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  5. Loved this, Miss Bridget. I mean, I was there, but it's always a treat to read the experience through the eyes (and sweat glands) of another and you know how I do love a Bridget story.

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    1. this was a bridget story if there ever was one.

      glad you made it to the end, and glad i met you too!

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  6. might I suggest name tags should you ever do a second conference. haha! :) Funny + fun recap. If I was a more serious blogger, I'd have signed up! Please write a book. xo

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    1. ha! we had them! but we didn't wear them all weekend long so... you know.

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  7. I really loved this post and all the detail, the whole weekend looked so lovely and like so much fun and all you lovely ladies at one place....my favs....I can't even imagine! Beautiful conference, ladies....looks like you done good! And Steve and Parker at the airport with that welcome home....sweetest ever!

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  8. oh how i want to be back in the weekend. it was such a great time with pretty amazing people! by the way the migas were great, but i was definitely having waffle envy. i will have to go back soon + order the bridget.

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  9. Ahhh, the Old Fashioned. I'm waiting on you to try it...I'll be ready, even if I have to travel to Boston ;)

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  10. SO glad you enjoyed the chocolates! Hope your little one enjoyed the little sneak of bourbon, too ;) thanks so much for all your hard work, Bridget!!!

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  11. Please do it again because I really want to come!! :)

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  12. Loved this post and love love loved the hundred event! It was so great and I can't wait to (hopefully) do it all again! You're the sweetest person and I am so glad I had the chance to meet you after reading your blog for so long. Oh and I understand the push and the pull of being both a extrovert/introvert... The struggle prevails.

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  13. So this post made me miss blogging. Like real LIFE blogging. Like not "here's some nutritional info on sweet potatoes" blogging. Maybe I can combine the two like magic...

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  14. Now I wish I would have just sucked it up and spent the money to come!!!!!!

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