Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smart Mommy, Super Daddy

Last month I made the annual edtech pilgrimage to Austin for SXSWedu where I was enormously honored to be a speaker this year! You may remember that such events are lovingly referred to as "Smart Mommy" trips to my friends, family and co-workers. It happens a couple of times a year. I get to go meet in person with the awesome team I mostly only work with virtually and to engage with the top minds in my field. Lou gets special time alone with the girls to do things like eat dessert every night, have conference room playdates and stay up past bedtime. This year had the added bonus feature of an impending blizzard that forced me to move up a flight so I could make it to Texas in time!  The photos that follow pretty perfectly capture the real life view of the working/traveling mom thanks to a super great dad who knows there's no such thing as too many texted photos to show what's happening at home.

Expecting the storm, we added "stock the fridge" to the already long list of pre-travel tasks...


Fearing power outages, we also cut some additional firewood to move in the house. Notice how warm it was just days before the big storm...

I made a little collection of the girls to refer to when I missed them, then away I went...

I had to move up my flight so I could make it out of town in time. It was freezing raining the whole way to the aiport and I had to race to catch my flight! It was a really stressful couple of days trying to figure it all out, so I was happy to be in the air and have that part behind me...

Lou & the girls had to drop me off in the wee hours of the morning. When I landed, I was greeted by this text of them at breakfast after dropping me off--still in their pajamas...

At this point, they were too awake to go back to sleep so they decided to stay busy to take their mind off of missing mama...






Now, in case you missed that, Lou reorganized the girls' closet, played dress-up, cooked vegetable soup and made a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies.  That seems appropriate given that I was hard at work several states away, right? Wrong.

See, since I had to fly out early, I actually had several hours by myself. In a hotel room. By myself. With nothing I had to do. By myself. After a really, really, really awesome nap, I went down to the hotel lobby to get a latte and the guy, who must've seen the look of a freshly-napped mom on my face, asked me if I wanted to have a warm brownie with my drink. Ummmm.....YES! I spent the rest of my afternoon watching guilty pleasure TV (I might've watched the NCAA Cheerleading Nationals). eating my brownie and sipping my latte like a BOSS. I'm not going to lie. It was bliss. Pure bliss.


Later that evening my team started to arrive the events of the week were underway! Austin is SUCH a cool city and we had a great tour and the first of many awesome dinners that began with queso and margaritas!  (You're waiting to see where this actually starts to look like work, aren't you?)

The next morning I fired up the SX app and it was on. Jam packed days and inspiration at every turn and confirmation of the importance of the work we are doing and friends I only see 3 times a year and conversations that challenge everything you think you know and hundreds of handshakes and exchanging business cards and blisters and what room are we in again and write up the blog and tweet up a storm and hey have you met and I have to write a paper about this and Wow! 


...And also moments where I just stop and think, holy moly how did this all happen anyway? How did I end up eating breakfast tacos in Austin, Texas with the rest of the members of the Advisory Board listening to the organizer explain the events that would follow the next couple days? So many reasons to be grateful! Grateful for opportunities!!

Grateful for standing room only crowds in our team's first session!

Grateful for working with people like Tom, who really believes whole-heartedly in doing what's best for kids and has great ideas about how to get us there!

Grateful for being asked how to sign our ebook!

Grateful for a city that knows vegetarians like to eat more than carb+cheese and know how to cook a super yummy veggie meal!

Grateful for live music with friends!

Grateful for proof that the kids fell asleep just fine while their mom was just kicking off a late night!

Grateful for all the photos Lou sent from the Parent Night that I missed!




The next day was the BIG ONE. Our session. I work with the most fun people in the world, so we had a blast in the green room even though we were all nervous. Grateful for great coworkers!




Grateful for good work! Our session went great! It was so much fun! The highlight was the students that we invited to participate who had lots of opinions about how schools should evolve to better serve what they need to learn best. 



Grateful for a husband that cracks up when he gets a photo like this and texts "Hey, send me a photo of what you're doing right now..."!

Grateful to be a part of the EdTechWomen's community!

Grateful for queso at every turn and for the hilarious people I work with!

Grateful that we just happened to have a night out in Austin during Mardi Gras!

Grateful for all the #smartgrlz, pictured and unpictured!! (And fitbit steps that measure how much we danced after midnight!)

Grateful that a piano bar in Austin is place I've been!



Grateful for everything that is Roppolo's pizza!!

Grateful for getting Gif'd!!!

Grateful for the Day Two report from Papa that included scenes from Bea's ballet class...

Pizza and A Movie in the conference room at Lou's office...


Scenes from an ice storm...

Legos for days...

The official (legally binding) allowance contract that Josie & Lou drew up together....

Blueberry scones...

And another great trip that ended just about the time when I couldn't wait another second to get home.



1 comment:

Jessica Slusser said...

I LOVE this post, you're such an incredible Smart Mommy and I am so happy to have the opportunity to work with you every day. P.S. Thanks for reminding me about Roppolo's pizza, that place was TOO good. #SmartGirlsRock