As I mentioned previously, this past weekend I was in Utah giving a Keynote Address to a conference about the evolution of women in social media. It included a power point component, and as soon as I got up to the podium, I clicked to start my presentation and instead the screen said, “Windows is shutting down.” Greeeeeat. I don’t know what the heck happened. I’m a Mac not a PC! Luckily, there were tech guys there that did their wizardry, and then I got a fancy clicker remote doohickey that allowed me to control my presentation without the stupid powered off computer. Heather 1, Windows 0.

photo by shelleblok

I think it went well. I felt good about it. People ask me how I get up and talk about such emotional things and the answer is…I don’t know. I do it because I have to. I do it because it lets me tell more people about Madeline. She is still here when I talk about her, and when people want to listen (or if I have a captive audience) I am going to spread her story.

photo by shelleblock

Does my nose always look like that?

photo by shelle block

Annabel and St. Gramma went along on the trip, and it was so wonderful to have them there. My parents don’t often get to hear me speak since I usually am out of state when I do, so it was great to have my mom in the audience holding my best girl, Annie.

Utah is gorgeous. The conference was in Park City and I kind of want to move there, except for two things: The air is so dry that I had to put Vaseline up my nose to keep it from shattering into a million pieces; and beer tastes different there. We explored the mountains and I was in awe of Park City’s natural beauty – I bet it’s amazing in the winter.

park city  3

park city 1

park city 2

St. Gramma and I also went on a crazy-fun zip line, but the ending was abrupt and I swore so loudly from surprise that I’m pretty sure Utah was happy to see me and my potty mouth go.

I came home today in time to celebrate my birthday! I am now 31 – or as I have decided to call it, Thirty Fun (attitude is everything, right?). Mike picked us up at the airport, and had some cute little presents waiting for me at home, including a giant balloon that equally mesmerizes and terrifies Annabel.

Happy Birthday to me

Annabel’s present to me was screaming when our plane took off, then passing out for the remainder of the flight. It took the entire flight for my heart to drop back into a normal rhythm, and we won’t speak of the flop sweat.

my birthday present is her snuggles

The best present is my family. My daughters Madeline and Annabel, my husband Mike, my dog Rigby. I wish desperately my Maddie was here with me today. It is my second birthday without her. I only got to spend one with her. Would she have helped Mike pick out a gift? Colored on my birthday card? Helped me blow out my candle? The what-ifs that will haunt me the rest of my life are particularly strong on special days. They can be suffocating.