Monday, July 13, 2015

What Happens In Vegas Changes Your Life!!...

Hi everyone!!

I just had the most life changing and fulfilling learning experience this week.
I did something out of the norm for me. I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone. 
What did I do, you may ask? 
I left everything familiar, hopped on a plane, and went to meet a bunch of people that I did not really know in Vegas. Today I am linking up with Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten and the Elementary Entourage to tell you about my life changing experience in Las Vegas!
I knew last year when I saw how much fun everyone was having and how much they were learning that I had to go to the TPT conference this year. My youngest daughter was only 9 months old last summer, so I couldn't swing it. Around early February this year, I discussed Vegas with my husband and he said to go for it. So I booked it!... cue scary music.
Let me explain myself and the scary music. I am introverted. I am not good with introducing myself to others. I get easily nervous around everyone, especially people that I don't know. Will they laugh at me? Will I be shunned? Would anybody talk to me? AHHHH!!!
As the days approached to the conference, I was very excited, but I was so nervous to the point that it was making me sick. I know it sounds silly, but that's how nervous I get. I had NO idea what to expect. Things changed when I finally got myself into the mind set that I was going to "put myself out there".
July 8th- 7:30 am...Here I am boarding the plane. There was no turning back now.

By the time that I got to Vegas, my mind set already was beginning to change. I was more excited than nervous as you may be able to tell from this picture. 

I met my friend Amy at the airport and we took an airplane shuttle to the hotel. All was quiet on the shuttle and then I said the magical acronym... TPT. All of a sudden all of the TPT'ers on the shuttle started talking and new friends were being made. We ended up meeting up with some of them in the food court for lunch after we checked in. So far so good!

Then I met my awesome roommates!! I knew Amy from Learning LessonsWith Mrs. Labrasciano already, so that helped. Then I met my other 2 roommates, Cassie from Adventures in Teaching and Tanesha from Raising Rigor and Readers-- and we got along great!! 

As I walked through the Venetian, I started meeting SO many people. AND they knew me...lil' ol me! I didn't think anybody would give me the time of day and I couldn't be more wrong...everyone was SO nice!! I met up with a bunch of other 1st grade teachers that I collaborate with & every single one of them were AMAZING!!

Now the moment of truth...the big blogger meet up. And when I say big, I mean 1100 people big...YIKES!! Way out of my comfort zone. Would this be my moment of disaster?
Well... The blogger meet up was EPIC!!! Never in my life have I had more fun! Everyone was fantastic!!! It was so great meeting blogger friends that I have communicated with via social media for years. Like I said I would earlier, I just put myself out there and walked up and introduced myself to people! It couldn't have been a better night.

YES that is Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade!! Starstruck!! I was also so excited to meet Vera from The Tutu Teacher and Jillian from The Star Spangled Planner!!!
Katie from Little Warriors

This amazing girl right here is one of the first girls that I ever got to know virtually...Stephanie from Falling Into First ! Sweetest girl ever!

The next day, the TPT conference began and I already had the confidence built up from the day before. It was no longer a big deal to just be able to walk up to people and introduce myself. Here are some more people that I was lucky enough to meet from the networking session in the morning!
Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies and Susan from Thank God It's First Grade!!

And this truly made my day...
I {Puffy Heart} love this girl right here...Kelley from Teacher Idea Factory! She is such an amazing person!!

All of my faves right here! Love you girls!!

What was just as amazing was the TPT conference itself. I couldn't be more inspired or grateful to the TPT team. I was lucky enough to get a picture with Paul, the founder himself!

Rachel Lynette was so inspiring in her keynote. Her story as one of a struggling single mom truly touched my heart as she worked her way up, and it was especially interesting to know that she started on TPT due to an ad on...Craigslist!! It's truly heartwarming to know as educators and creators, that TPT came from being on Craigslist to the company it has become today.
I went to so many inspirational sessions and picked up new tips and tricks from each session. Everything was so valuable! I loved my session with the Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills. They did wonderful presenting together!

My 3 days in Vegas were a whirlwind! I went to meetups and made the most of my Vegas experience. I even won a giveaway from The Primary Pack's meetup. Woohoo!!!
and I met this awesome gal who I've been talking with for years!!!

As quick as it began, my time in Vegas was over. However, I am forever grateful for this experience in so many ways! 
I learned that:
1) Stepping out of your comfort zone is something that you won't end up regretting. It truly changes your outlook on everything. It has changed my perspective on putting myself out there and meeting new people!
2) Hard work and dedication to my creations will pay off in the long run.
3) Find your tribe... this saying has been going around lately and I have found my #teachertribe of friends who I can collaborate with and talk to about anything. We have each other's back and not only are we teachers, but friends.
4) Empower everyone who is around you! This is not only about you or me, but we are all in this together.
As happy as I was to come home from Vegas, I felt a little empty inside to leave after meeting so many inspirational people. Until next year, #tptvegas16!
On that note, I leave you with this final thought as I prepare to move on with my summer...

Read about other Vegas experiences here at the Elementary Entourage!!


  1. Number 4 really resonated with me, too! And I love your final thought (image)! Thanks for an enjoyable blog post.

    -- Susan
    The ESL Connection

  2. I so wanted to meet you! I think, I'm not sure, but I think we may have sat next to each other during one of the sessions. I didn't realize it until later on :( I think next time we all wear shirts with our blogs on them :D

  3. I loved meeting you!!! I completely know how you felt heading to stomach was in KNOTS. But everyone, including YOU, was so kind and openhearted that I was so sad to leave! I love number 4 as well...we are all here to support each other! :-)

    The Craft of Teaching

  4. Looooved reading this!!! Glad to know you were nervous... because I was freaking out!!! AGH! Good thing everyone was so nice! Hope I get to see you next year :)

  5. I remember meeting you because I commented on your t-shirt! I know you are so glad you came! Everyone was very kind. It was a lot of fun.

  6. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know. Nice! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing.