I remember packing for my first BlogHer. Finley and I were embarking on our first adventure, she was a little over two months old. It was a revelatory experience, as we surpassed everyone’s expectations (oh, how those people giving me the evil as they saw us boarding the plane changed their tune!)

My second BlogHer had me packing a smaller bag and not knowing who would site beside me on the plane as all three girls stayed at home with Sean. Leslie and I locked arms, treked all over beautiful Chicago as talked about every subject under the sun, and those hidden in the cover of night, before searching for a breast pump and spotting the president. Dude, it was, right? It had to be. Whatever, we got the pump.

BlogHer in NYC was in the company of friends from Trampoline. Sean sent me updates of his time with the girls. I had a different experience than years past, I tasted an independence I’d never known, understood the power of demonstrating to my girls the value in pursuing a dream. I returned home buoyed, stronger despite my still weak system.

And now here it is time for BlogHer again. I feel like I did in 2007 when I wanted to go but hadn’t shared that with anyone. I’d love to be in the thick of things, surrounded by so many women with different aspirations, hurdles and approaches. There is something so inspiring (or maddening if you choose to see it that way) about the cacophony of pursuit—income, friendship, fame, improvement.

I will not be flying to San Diego, but I’ll have those swarms of happy, passionate, fun-seeking people in my mind. I’ll travel their blogs and smile. Missing this won’t dampen my spirit, it will reignite the desire to spread my wings and achieve all that I know is possible.

I hope you find your flight.

I am grateful to Lisa, Jory and Elisa for what they’ve created. To Erin and Denise for their advocacy, and to Rita for her candor. Special nods and hugs to my BlogHer friends new and old. Dawn, Leslie, Molly, Colleen, MeganHeather, Victoria, Sarah, Jessica, Maggie, another Maggie, my Martha Stewart soiree Maggie, Jennifer and Alli (who I only shared a limo with, but have admired for some time). There are more and I hope one day I’ll see them again. Until such a time, I’ll be stoking what makes me a strong her.

Thanks to Amy for helping us overcome the 1 ticket, 3 women predicament.

Thanks to Karen for her kindness and light as she wrote the word upon my arm.