scenes from the mom 2.0 summit

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So after all that awesome brainstorming I did in Miami, I had all these wonderful intentions to come back to Houston, put together this amazing video project that I came up with, and simply wow you guys with my brilliance.  So all day yesterday and today, I've been working diligently at this video, taping and uploading and processing and my goodness, preparing for the blowing of all our collective minds ...

... and then I stood back this afternoon, and looked at what I'd done, and decided that I was completely high if I ever even dreamt that this was going to see the light of day.  Don't you hate that?  When you work really hard at something, and suddenly realize that perhaps this is the worst idea you ever had?

Yeah.

I'm not entirely sure that I'm going to throw in the towel quite yet (but I'm close).  I decided before making that decision, however, I'd take a break and share some of the images that I captured while in Miami, the hope that the change of scenery would do us all a bit of good.

When I landed in Miami on Thursday evening, I had grand plans:  I was going to wake up at dawn on Friday morning, and go for a quick swim to start my day.  I figured this might be my only shot at swimming in the Atlantic this year, so I was going to make the most of it.I mentioned this idea to my friend Jenny, who promptly told me that I was completely crazy, that waking up that early when it wasn't absolutely necessary was the sign of a person in serious need of medication.  And honestly that night, when I went to bed far later than I should have, I totally saw her point.

Then 6 a.m. Friday morning, my phone went off.  It was Jenny, asking me if I was ever planning to get up, so that she could accompany me down to the beach.

Ten minutes later, we were in the sand, looking at the most rotting-seaweed-covered beach I've seen in a long time (the dark mass you see in the foreground of the picture is the seaweed).  There was no way we were going in (I have a thing about seaweed).  But the view was still beautiful, and feeling the cool morning air and the sand between our toes was really the perfect way to start our day, seaweed be damned.

For some reason, I didn't take many photographs while I was in Miami -- I'm not sure why, since I obviously brought my camera and a couple of lenses, but I didn't feel compelled to take photographs of tons of people like I usually do.  That said, when my friends Kristen Chase and Liz Gumbinner asked if I would take a portrait of the two of them (they're the brilliant minds behind Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech), there was no way I could resist capturing those beautiful faces.  Aren't they lovely?

While I was photographing Kristen and Liz, our friend Helen Jane approached.  I first met Helen Jane at a small bloggers' retreat in Napa Valley, which is actually where Helen Jane lives.  This is appropriate, since the words I would use to describe Napa are the same words I would use to describe Helen Jane:  classy, cool, laid-back, and very, very beautiful.

One new friend I made is lovely Daniela Arrendondo.  I met Daniela right before my session on Friday, and the word that immediately comes to mind when I think of her is passionate:  she is so committed to the education of children and the constant pursuit of peace that her enthusiasm is, quite literally, breathtaking.  It was lovely to meet her.

And finally, this was my view at breakfast the morning I left to return home to Houston.  So lovely.

It was definitely a beautiful trip.

So now, with that image of that breakfast patio in my head, back to work.

SongSoak up the sun by Sheryl Crow