We’re back from Chicago and I am exhausted.

It was a really good, but emotional, weekend. I met so many people but I know I missed so many others. It’s impossible to meet everyone you want to when there are 1,400 people in one place, but it’s still a bit of a bummer.

I want to thank all of you who came up to me to give hugs, cards, gifts, support, and love. It meant so much to put faces and voices to your online names and words. That was absolutely the highlight of my trip.

I had three amazing roommates and I am so glad I was able to spend so much time with them.

The conference itself was great and I wish I’d been able to go to more sessions. Unfortunately, I woke up Saturday morning with a headache, and it still hasn’t gone away at 11:30 Sunday night. Flying with a migraine is something I hope I never have to do again. Because of my headache, I spent a large majority of the conference in my room in an attempt to make it go away. Tylenol (the strongest thing I’m allowed to take) would make the pain temporarily manageable, so I did venture out a bit on Saturday. In the morning I got my hair done at a booth sponsored by Suave, and I waited in a line to meet my favorite part of “Project Runway,” Tim Gunn. Or as I like to call him, Timmy.

Right before I met Timmy, I was interviewed by BlogTalk Radio. You can listen to the entire interview here.

I also left my room on Saturday to go to a bowling party. The bowling alley was across the street from the hotel. An easy walk for anyone, unless you are me. I fell down in a spectacular way right in front of Lucky Strike. I stepped in a hole and when I realized I couldn’t recover, I put out my left arm while my right arm cradled my camera and belly. So my left arm, both ankles, and left hip are a disaster. But luckily no blood or bruising, so I didn’t have to take a trip to the emergency room.

After bowling we stopped by the annual CheeseburgHer party, where I donned the attire of the natives:


Unfortunately, my headache forced me to retire before I had a cheeseburger. There’s always next year.

Friday was the big day for me, when I stood up in front of 1,400 people to read an entry from my blog. This is what 1,400 people looks like:

Even though I’ve spoken in front of ten thousand people at the March for Babies, I was very nervous about the keynote. I read this post. EDITED TO ADD: Now, thanks to Amazing Greis, there is video:

Twenty other amazing bloggers participated in the keynote, you can read about them here. I was honored to be chosen, honored to speak in front of a room full of writers, honored to thank so many people for supporting Mike and me the last 15 weeks and six days.

The emotions of the weekend caught up with me on Sunday morning. I read lots of tweets about bloggers missing their children, and that was hard since they were lucky enough to go home to them. Last year, Maddie was with my parents during BlogHer. This year, I had almost convinced myself that she was with them again. Then I had a terrible nightmare that reminded me she was not. At the airport, I saw children everywhere, little girls around the age Maddie would be, dancing around. I missed her so deeply I broke down crying. I hate crying in public, but sometimes it’s all just too much. Throw in a migraine and extreme nausea and it was pretty much the worst morning I’ve had in a while.

So we are home, back to real life. Except it still doesn’t feel like my life.