when you know no one at the family reunion

I'm going to admit it. Last week, for the first time ever, I said I didn't want to go to Chicago.


I was cranky, swamped at work and just all around tired.

But I knew there was no way around it. So I packed up the car and drove 350 miles west. I was nervous. Did I pack enough dresses? Were my shoes cute enough? I mean, I was going to meet family for the first time.

But unlike the times when I would have to introduce myself to my father's family (isn't my grandmother beautiful in the photo above?), I was not related to anyone in the room I was about to walk in to.

I was attending the Brands and Bloggers Summit, and many of the attendees already knew each other. But when I arrived, I immediate saw a woman I believed I could relate to. What's Cooking Chicago and I struck up a conversation. It was pretty non-stop from there. I met a lot of incredible bloggers. And I was once again reminded as to why I do what I do.

The blogosphere has grown so large, so vast. But one thing remains constant: bloggers take care of each other.

Take MJ for instance. MJ organized the #bbsummit12 and did a fabulous job doing so. But in the midst of executing her well laid out plans, she sought me out. MJ and I have been friends for years now but this past weekend was the first time we met in person. It felt so good to finally hug someone who knows about every personal detail you share. She hugged me and at that moment, I felt like family. She did this several times throughout the day.

I began blogging many moons ago because as a new Mom, I couldn't find the support I needed from my family or friends offline. So I turned to new friends online. And these friends became family offline.

Yes, you can go awkwardly into a family reunion, but it's almost guaranteed you'll walk out feeling happy and loved.