The day is coming fast….Chicago Veganmania!!! This will actually be my first trip away from my husband and kids….The last time I recall being away from my husband overnight or more was when I was pregnant with our first child and his work had him flying everywhere right before I gave birth (luckily, he was home when I went into labor!). But a lot has changed since then. I went on to create this blog and I was crazy enough to have another kid since then…hahaha! Don’t get me wrong, I love Camille and every morning I wake up knowing that I have this HUGE gummy smile waiting for me the moment I open the door to the nursery. I just haven’t slept uninterrupted for what seems like forever and I have a feeling that as much as I look forward to sleeping without anyone waking me up, I am going to miss the sound of my kids’ voices. Some people may be asking themselves how I got such a sweet gig at Veganmania. There are millions of vegan bloggers out there and I am sure a lot of them are really great, but why me??? Well, let me first say that at my email box is not flooded like a vegan icon as big as Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I am like the millions of other vegan blogs out there…I might stand out slightly more because I am a vegan mom and that my family is just a normal set of vegans that look like and act like every other family out there (I give my family credit- we beat a lot of stereotypes!) but I am not getting the celebrity treatment here. And for other bloggers out there who want to get your name out…Here’s my story:
It all started a few months ago when my husband and I were debating on whether to go to the Animal Rights Conference in DC. We looked at the speakers and our budget and my husband felt that it wasn’t worth the time, childcare, money, etc. to go there. Now before other vegans go up in arms, the Animal Rights Conference is a GREAT event- I think every vegan needs to attend a conference at least once in their lifetime. But my husband felt like that we attended similar events and it was the same things being told to us but by different people. Also, the cost of hotel, gas, meals, and the hard work it takes to get our kids packed up and to their grandparents’ place was an awful lot. Also Camille was barely 2 months old so after all was said and done we killed our plans to go. But a lightbulb went off in my head…If we couldn’t attend a conference in DC, why not go to another one in a few months and make a trip of it??? So I recall the lovely Marla Rose (the founder of Veganmania) mentioning Veganmania on her home turf of Chicago, IL and I already had my friend Kristin offering me a place to stay if I came up to visit so I looked up the dates and the timing couldn’t have been any better!!! So I made plans to go to Chicago, but the original plan was to go with Chuck but sadly, the childcare became less likely because Chuck’s father is not doing too well medically so to leave the kids with his parents was a lot to ask. As a vegan mom, I don’t have many people I can go to that I trust (as in following our vegan ethics when we are not around- this is VERY important to every vegan parent!) in watching my kids overnight- let alone a whole weekend. But we talked about it and felt that I should at least go….I told Kristin about our decision and it all translated to a great girl’s weekend for the both of us. We are both vegan moms and we both needed a break from our families and recharge our batteries. Luckily, Kristin coordinates the “Ask a Vegan Expert” panel for Veganmania so it was only a matter of slipping my name in the Vegan Parenting part of the panel and I’m sure there might have been a Godfather scene where Kristin needed Marla’s blessing but I have no idea if ring kissing took place 😉
Believe it or not, the vegan community is a pretty big fishbowl (I understand this is not a vegan friendly reference but bear with me! Oh crap…Now I mentioned bears!) if you really think of it, but that fishbowl is filled with a lot of like-sized fish and those other fish in that bowl are the most helpful fish I have ever seen! I find that most of the big names in the vegan community are quite personable and engaging. It makes being a fan soooo much easier 😉 So for all you vegan bloggers out there, just branch out to people in your community. If you want to attend a conference, be prepared to pay for a plane ticket but rest assured, chances are you got a few places to stay for free- just bring a small thank you gift for their hospitality- maybe a batch of vegan cookies that are a huge hit with your friends. You get the idea!
So on that note, I am trying to work out logistics of how I am going to blog about this event. I should have an idea the moment I am on the plane so I might be blogging each evening I am in Chicago or just do one big blog once I get back. I am hoping to space them out so you guys know how my trip went and also to give you guys ideas on where to go should you happen to be in the Chicago area. And if any of you do decide to attend Veganmania this Saturday, please say hello to me!!! I love to meet my readers!!!
So until then…Expect a lot of exciting things!!! I am also going to sneak in a giveaway too so stay tuned!!! But for now…I need to grab my suitcase and pack!!! Hope to see you there 🙂