This past weekend one of my best friends Leah and I escaped from our little teeny town and ventured 3 hours away to the bustling town of Birmingham, Alabama. We have been planning our adventure for months now after spotting tickets for the 1 day conference and optional food photography workshops.
I have to admit though I see a lot of conferences popping up and the real game changer for me was that this one was close to us and my photography hero Helene Dujardin was going to be teaching the photography class. You might remember me gushing all about her and her amazing book Plate to Pixel a couple years ago. And if that wasn’t enough Tami Harding was going to be styling with her and Molly Wizenburg from Orangette who’s blog I have basically stalked for years was going to be there. 2 hours after I discovered it Leah and I both had tickets. Bam!
I was thrilled but also a bit nervous to be away from my little ones. I literally had never spent a night away from either of them their entire lives so this momma was a little hesitant but really….I was oh so ready for it. It was 2 glorious days of no one needing me, touching me, screaming for me, or interrupting me. We ate amazing food, drank wine all evening and had real adult conversations that lasted longer than 15 seconds.
I am however still nursing Phin… AKA Sumo baby. He is such a voracious eater he literally nurses, drinks a bottle and then eats solids before he will sleep. So I was confident that he would be fine with Kevin now that he had developed his full on love affair with the bottle.
No big deal though I rationalized….I had packed my pump and would just pump and dump whenever I was uncomfortable. Needless to say by the end of the first day, dinner and driving to a friend’s house who was graciously hosting us for the weekend I was quite looking forward to some needed relief.
But then this little itty bitty thing happened….or rather went missing. See on these pumping apparatuses that make even the most stoic mother feel like a completely degraded dairy animal, there is always one little flappy piece that makes the thing actually work. And my said little flappy thing had been commandeered by my 2 year old as a the coolest finger puppet ever the day prior and had somehow not made it into my bag.
So there I sat. On the floor of Leah and I’s room at nearly midnight silently cursing this forsaken machine which was happy to oblige in making ungodly amounts of noise but would not work even in the slightest. After the realization that I was going to get nowhere with it I evaluated the discomfort I felt to the frigid 10 degree weather outside and went to bed dejected, resolving that I would find a solution in the morning.
Morning came and went and before we knew it we were 15 minutes late to Helene’s class. No way I was missing out on that, I would bite my teeth and bear it. By lunch time I was getting sick and I bolted out of the photography class trying my best to tell Helene and Tami how much I adored their work while simultaneously trying not to lose my breakfast.
13 minutes later I had hit CVS and Target and was in route back to the conference with a manual pump in tow. As I was buckling in to the car with the source of my relief mere feet from me I quickly realized that I would be spending the rest of the networking lunch hour stuck in my car or the bathroom pumping which seemed like a colossal waste of opportunities.
Rationalizing that merely driving was an inefficient use of the next 7 minutes I whipped out the pump, tossed my jacket over my shoulder and navigated my way back to the conference with one hand. Within 25 minutes flat I was back in the conference hall eating lunch with said pump in my bag and a smile on my face. Also turns out that a manual pump doesn’t make any noise so you can totally sit in the corner and pump during a session while pretending to be freezing under your coat. These are the important things a woman needs to know 🙂
I learned so much over the weekend and will be linking out to the full series of tips and tricks I picked up from each session from this post (so feel free to bookmark and come back for a look see). Here’s a wrap up on the photo session where we learned how to style salad (my ultimate nemesis):