Mom 2.0, Religion, and Politics—The Story of Three Mormons and A Bloggess

mebiz, tech, & social media

You know how you're not supposed to talk about religion or politics and especially not at the same time and definitely not in the same post? (Who made that rule BTW?) Well, let me be clear right from the get go that I'm breaking those rules, because this here post is about both! Consider yourself forewarned.

Back in November, my friend Rachael and I pitched to speak at the Mom 2.0 Summit in Houston, which took place last weekend and was awesome defined. Where else can you chat with her even if momentarily, check out her style, share life goals with her, be inspired by her, laugh til you cry with her or cry til you laugh (whichever comes first), lunch with her, have your chest painted by her, be dazzled by her vibrant soul, want to hug her til you die, squeal in delight when you meet her IRL or see her again even though it has only been two weeks or act like you've met her before when you haven't but thought you had, and party with her, her, and her all weekend long? Awesomesauce, right? (Which is an even higher level of plain awesome in case you aren't familiar with the term!)

To my surprise, the lovely Laura Mayes, hostess extraordinaire of this smashing shindig and author at Blog Con Queso selected me as a speaker. Wait! Let me interrupt myself. Yes! You heard me right. Blog Con Queso! My soul mate, right? She had me at queso, which is cheese in Spanish. Cheese and Spanish on the same site. Hold me back! What's not to love? And there's so much more I could share about her awesomesauceamazingness (two words I've always wanted to combine), but I digress.

So, the topic was selected and Rachael and I were excited. We booked a suite and sent out invites for roomies. What do you get when you combine Jyl and Rachael with an Amy, Holly, Jenny, and Laurie? Beet Jell-O! I'll reserve that for another post, but as a preview, think beets, three kinds of Jell-O, mayonnaise, and pimentos. Did I forget to mention pickle juice. But again, a story for another time.

Back to the panel. We found out in January that Allison had been added to our panel. We are all friends IRL, so score! But we did kind of step back and say, "Hmmmmm! Three Mormons on a panel. Interesting choice!" Should we dress like Big Love and confuse people? Should we start with a thought and a prayer? Should we let people think we each had 9 kids or reveal that we are bringing down the average at 2.5 a piece? Oh! The fun we could have! And then the news arrived.

Our fourth panelist would be none other than Jenny! As in Jenny Lawson. Wait! Jenny Lawson! Isn't that The Bloggess? Isn't she the rockingest, funniest blogger evs? And totally irreverent in a sweet yet sarcastic sort of way? OH! MY! GOSH! She could totally say the prayer!!!! This panel was going to rock.

We met, I kid you not, two hours before we went on stage in our suite and talked for a few minutes about our panel and spent the rest of the time getting to know each other. Six words: Most.Meaningful.Part.Of.My.Weekend! That girl has soul... in the most genuine, sincere way. Since the three of us already knew each other, we wanted to bring Jenny into the group. We taught her the Mormon gang sign (see pic above) and decided that we could all be sister wives if Mormons practiced polygamy. OK! That last part is a half truth (the part about us deciding to be sister wives). Or maybe a lie (we don't practice polygamy). But, who wouldn't want to be a sister wife with The Bloggess, especially after screaming WOLVERINE at the top of your lungs? Seriously! We went against the urge to introduce her to the missionaries (but only because we were about to go on a panel in a few minutes... that'll be saved for our next trip to Houston).

So, we get to our panel where Jenny made us all jealous we weren't wearing a wig. Then, she became the Czar of Martindale (you must read Jenny's blog for background here). I told you! Religion and politics at one time. She's officially in government now in a rule-the-world-sort-of-a-way. Double jealousy except for the part where a cat is her boss, because that flat out terrifies me and I've had some pretty freaky bosses. But, with her new powers, she saved a baby. Although, I'd like to think it was because of her prayer. She prayed to save babies from falling down wells, which was interpreted as "stages," because a baby crawled up on our stage, nearly fell off, but was saved. Yes! She prayed! Tell me Mormon girls aren't only way fun sober, but highly influential!

For the serious part... We had fun sharing the ins and outs of making meaningful connections via the integration of online and offline campaigns. Sound like mumbo jumbo? I could go on all day long about my passion for this topic, but suffice it to say that we spoke about how bloggers and brands can work together online and offline to make a meaningful difference. What's not to love about that, right?

While this was a definite highlight of my conference experience, I'd be remiss if I didn't spotlight some others:

  1. Hearing Jenny snort. Nothing makes you laugh more than when your friend snorts.
  2. Taking funny face pictures with Amy.
  3. Sharing said pics with Marie, Allison, and Rachael over chips and guacamole. Who doesn't love appetizers and tears of laughter all at once?
  4. Talking with Heather in the airport, swapping both BYU and tailbone stories. Any relation? Hmmmm! Something to consider.
  5. Taking the beet Jell-O challenge that no one other than Rachael and Marie was brave sane enough to try.
  6. Watching Precious with my roomies. Oh! The tears!
  7. Winning a weekend stay in the Executive Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston.
  8. Finally turning my dream of being 5'9 into a reality. Thanks White House, Black Market for your awesome sales rep that talked me into trying on shoes that were 100% not my style. They rock my world!
  9. Eating my fair share of apple dippers with caramel sauce while wearing a McDonald's hat bag on my head at the #Cheezbergher party.
  10. Getting seconds of Barilla's Three Cheese Tortellini. Mmmmmm! Let me say it again: Mmmmmm!
  11. Taking in the beauty and talent at the Mom 2.0: Defining a Movement art exhibit. Breathtaking!

Dying you missed Mom 2.0? Don't worry. Join the adventure in April 2011 in New Orleans.

Wondering how to connect with bloggers and brands before then? Check out Evo Conference in the magnificent Rocky Mountains this summer. Early bird ends soon!

[Photo at top courtesy of Flickr. From left: Marie, me, Laurie, and Amy. Photo in middle: courtesy of Design Mom. From left: Allison, Rachael, me, and Jenny. Photo at bottom courtsey of Jenny on the Spot. From left: me and Jenny.]
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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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