a peek inside the fishbowl

29 Oct, 2006

A few small words about the Motherlode

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Kate, Nadine, Marla, Andrea (me!)ETA: Pics are up on my Flickr. I didn’t take many, so it’ll have to do…

Dani and I returned from our short visit to the ARM Motherlode conference early last night.

I originally expected to write the Most Excited And Long Blog Post With Lots of Title Case AND ALL CAPS, but I will tell you in advance that it’s not in me to write it right now. I don’t know why.

How could I not write a huge, funny and inspired post about a blogging panel, and about the wonderful bloggers and friends that I met?

How do I come up with posts anyway? I write when my heart and brain are overflowing and my fingers are burning. I write. It pours out of me, like lava out of a volcano, all over the place, but perhaps not nearly so destructive. Thankfully, not nearly so destructive.

Dani picked me up Friday morning and despite taking a major wrong exit (which would have brought us to Montreal) and then doing a U-turn in one of those highway short-cuts intended only for emergency vehicles, we did okay. She is an excellent driver, but I felt compelled to mention that although I was more than happy to split the cost of the rental and the gas, any speeding tickets had to be her own.

I was mildly worried Dani and I would run out of things to talk about. (Ya, I know, I can’t believe it either.) I had brought a stack of CDs, she, her iPod, and the music remained in the background the entire time.

We were there before we even knew, arriving ahead of schedule. I only had to pee once the whole trip! We went directly to Marla’s instead of meeting at the conference.

I can’t say enough about Marla without gushing and sounding a bit too much like a stalker. So I will just say that I love her madly, and her daughter, and there’s even a little left over for her sweetheart of a hubby even though I’m fairly sure he thought we were all a little crazy and whole lot of weird.

And what could I possibly say about the panel that hasn’t been said somewhere else by this time? Dani, Ann, Marla, Jen and Andrea McD. each made great, and very different, presentations and covered a lot of ground about mommy blogging and blogging and the community. In hindsight I wish I had taken notes.

I sat in the second row (because it would have looked too eager to sit in the first row) between Miche and Scarbie Doll. Kate was there too. The whole thing made me positively giddy. And the informal chat afterwards … Cooper (fellow DotMom!) and the positively lovely and contagiously energetic Emily were there, as well as Andi Buchanan and – argh – there.wasn’t.enough.time. !

A bunch of us went to Jen’s for dinner afterward. More great conversation ensued. And then, sadly, it was time to go. We arrived back at Marla’s around midnight. We were too tired for pillow fights. I slept downstairs on the new couch and didn’t feel like creaking all the way upstairs and digging through Dani’s huge suitcase to find a bra to freeze.

I read for awhile before I turned out the light. I should say, I tried to read while Boo Boo smothered with kitty love. He was purring like a maniac. How could this little sweety be such a delinquent pooper? Perhaps Marla’s making it all up? Hmm. I’ll have to think about that some more.

In the morning we drank lattes and chatted until it was time to meet everyone for breakfast at Fran’s. We gathered around the table and chatted some more. Some of us proceeded to Winner’s for a quick shop and then lo, it was time to go.

Once again Dani was the driver and I was the navigator. Thankfully it wasn’t that difficult to get out of the tangle that is fondly known as downtown traffic. The drive home was chatty too, but a little more mellow.

I can’t wait to do it all again.

8 Responses to "A few small words about the Motherlode"

1 | Jen

October 29th, 2006 at 4:31 pm


It was so great spending time with you. A summer road trip to Ottawa is in order I think!

2 | Miche

October 29th, 2006 at 5:24 pm


It was fabulous to meet you Andrea! It was quite the adventure indeed — and doubly so since you travelled!

3 | Ryan

October 29th, 2006 at 8:08 pm


I’ve found that sometimes experiences just can’t be written like you would think they can. When I was traveling, there were some things that I just didn’t write about because I couldn’t. Sounds like a great time, though! Pictures?

4 | Marla

October 30th, 2006 at 10:10 am


Yes, let’s do it again, but without the work and stress part of it, okay?

5 | DaniGirl

October 30th, 2006 at 10:55 am


Funny, I had a hard time writing about it on Sunday morning, too. I wrote half a post Sunday after dinner, and still couldn’t put it up until I had a chance to re-read it this morning. Too much to take in, I think!

Thanks again Andrea for being such a great traveling companion, co-conspiritor and ego-booster. You made a great weekend even better! Any time you’re up for another road trip, I promise to try to avoid illegal turns….

6 | Sharon

October 30th, 2006 at 5:21 pm


Glad you all had a blast and Yes We all love Marla to death.

Great great lady.


7 | DaniGirl

October 30th, 2006 at 5:50 pm


Can I hire you as my official photographer?

8 | Kate

October 30th, 2006 at 8:36 pm


I was just commenting on Dani’s blog that I wished Ottawa were closer to Toronto! I wish we could all hang out more, instead of probably only once a year. Great seeing you again, and thanks for such great pics.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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