Allume: The People

I’ve been putting off this post (it’s actually Wednesday morning that I’m writing this), because I wasn’t quite sure how honest to be. But to me, this blog is nothing without honesty.  So, here is my experience.

When I was in high school, I was never one of the cool kids.  Truly, I didn’t mind too much, being “cool” wasn’t really an ambition of mine, but it came at a larger cost—community and fellowship.

In high school, the majority of the people already had their friends, their groups, and I didn’t fit.  I often found myself rejected, less than, and left out.

Going into Allume, I worried it would be just like that.  That the room would be filled with 400+ women who were all too cool for me.  And that I would be left out. Rejected.  Less than.

And you know what?  I was right. There was definitely a cool table.  There were a couple of groups that just didn’t have room for us small people. So, yes.  For me, there were times when someone brushed me off, made me feel less than, and I heard the same from a couple of other women.

But at Allume, something amazing happened.  Those cool kids?  They were in the minority.  And, They were the ones who missed out, even if they never realize it.

They missed out because the vast majority of those 400 women had such open hearts and open arms and it was absolutely amazing.  I went to this conference knowing no one.  When I found out that I had won the sponsorship package from Christin Slade, I began frantically trying to “meet” people online so that I would at least kind of know someone, but I still went there with very few real connections.  I came away with so much more.

So, I want to take a few minutes to tell you about just a few (there were so many more) of the awesome women who really blessed me this weekend.

It was awesome to meet my sponsor, Christin Slade. She has such a giving heart, and you could see that just by watching her at the conference.  I’m glad I got to meet her and hug her and thank her in person.

I was standing alone on the first night when Tanya Morales came up to me, telling me about how she’d read my blog.  This woman was just oozing joy and love.  God’s spirit was all over her and I was so blessed to get to meet her and see that.  She just poured out love on me all weekend, and it was such a blessing.

My roommates, Erica and Reeve were just amazing.  I was so afraid of rooming with complete strangers, but they really blew away my expectations (and even hopes!).  We connected immediately and spent hours chatting each night and throughout the days.  These women were just so sweet, and thoughtful, and loving.  I am so blessed to have roomed with them.

One of the biggest surprises for me was Crystal from Money Saving Mom.  She has one of the biggest blogs represented at that conference and yet she was so down to earth, and opened up her heart and arms and conversation to whoever happened to be in front of her.  She didn’t have to reach out to me, but she did and I really appreciate that.

There were so many women who just poured out God’s love that I couldn’t possibly name them all one-by-one.  But the bottom line for me is that this is, overall, a great community and I was blessed to be a part of it.


  1. says

    I agree with you 100%! There was so much to be gained by reaching out and meeting people. Of course, I’m really bad at it and it takes me two days to warm up and feel comfortable in a place, so next year I’m arriving a day early!

    It was great to meet you :)

    • Crystal says

      Elizabeth, I agree, it was definitely overwhelming, but the people were so nice that it was worth it. I met you briefly and you were super nice :)

  2. says

    I felt exactly the same way. The cool people were there, but they missed out. I thought Nester and Kat were very down to earth and friendly as well. Too bad I didn’t get to meet you! Thanks for your comment on my blog.

    • Crystal says

      Alison, I met them both briefly and, you’re right, they were super nice. I actually roomed with Nester’s real life friend, Reeve…so I had a bit of an ice breaker there :)

  3. says

    I enjoyed meeting you–though it was brief–while I was trying to console a crying baby. The first night was a little overwhelming to me, but I didn’t once feel like people were “too cool” for anyone else. Sure, I saw lots of stylish clothes and boots (and I never once pulled mine out of the suitcase!), but I felt like everyone was super down to earth. :)

    • Crystal says

      Erin, yes, I was glad I got to meet you in person after chatting so much on the newbies group! I well remember the days of consoling crying babies…and miss the days of the breastfeeding cure all! lol

      I’m glad you felt that way. Although I have to say that my observations were more about attitude than fashion. My very awesome roommate was also quite stylish :) And, like I said, this was just my personal experience :)

    • Crystal says

      Sarah, I just sent you an email. I promise I didn’t intend to make you feel bad and if it helps, I wasn’t even referring to you. I did meet you briefly and you were very nice. Not to mention that you had lots on your mind with trying to pull of that whole conference for 400+ women thing!
      I just think that I was blessed by the table hopping, but really wasn’t trying to make you feel bad.

    • says

      Sarah Mae, I had thoughts similar to Crystal. And then I thought: Sarah Mae was all over, talking to people and grabbing them to go in the Smilebooth. I love that you were interacting with everyone:)

  4. says

    Oh sweetie, now I wish I’d hugged you more!! I felt I was dashing up the room to pump so often that I missed folks I certainly hope I came across as friendly. :)

    I was so glad to be able to meet you in person at the conference and recognized you right off the bat. :) I’m planning to post pictures soon and ours is going into the batch. :)

    Blessings to you!! :)

    • Crystal says

      Sara, you were awesome!!! You loved on me plenty and I appreciated it. You really went out of your way to be friendly toward people and I totally got that :) I, too, am so glad that we were able to meet in person :) I was such a loser when it came to picture taking…I didn’t take a single picture! Even in the smile booth. My roomies and I intended to, but just never got to it. Can’t wait to see ours :)

      • says

        Oh good, I’m glad you felt the love. :) I’m a big believer in finding the gifts in others and helping them feel included. It’s the Mama in me. :) I also didn’t know what I was doing in the SmileBooth. It took the second night of my feeling very, very loopy and giggly, when I told my roomies that it was now or never!

        • Crystal says

          I completely agree! I admit that sometimes I can feel down on myself and that inhibits me from that purpose, but I always want to try and make others feel welcome, accepted, and loved :) Maybe it is a mama thing :)

  5. says

    Nice post Crystal! Glad to have met you, even if very briefly at registration. I was an Allume newbie that didn’t know anyone since I’m very new to the blogging world. I purposely sat at different tables for each meal and just put myself out there. I’m an introvert so it was a bit scary for me. However, I’m so glad I did it because I met some amazing women! I think that one can miss out on some great friendships if we don’t venture outside of our circles. Blessings!

    • Crystal says

      You too, Jesenia! I, too, purposely sat at different tables for each meal and was so blessed by the awesome people I was able to meet. I know I left out so many in my short list! PS–I’m your newest twitter follower :)

  6. Jess says

    Crystal, it was a blessing getting to meet you. I’m so glad that we got to sit and chat in the lounge Sat night. It was nice to find out that I was not the only one to do something embarrassing.

    • Crystal says

      Yes, Jess, I am SO glad I got to meet and chat with you! You are so much fun! You were one of those many awesome people I met :) PS-I rode to the airport the next day with Amy Lynn Andrews! At the recommendation of the girl on the other couch, I told her the story about forgetting to push my button and she didn’t even remember me at all…so apparently I wasn’t as bad as I was in my head…except that then I told on myself! lol

  7. says

    Bless your heart! You also blessed me, Crystal with your insight and humble spirit.. All glory to The Lord who calls us His.. I believe in you and His special plan on your life that only you can bring forth, only you.. Love and blessings to you!

  8. says

    Crystal, I love that you were brave and shared honestly about your experience. I felt the coolness from some people, too. And there were some people I expected to be more available than they were. I’m so thrilled that you won the sponsorship–so exciting. Also, I really like your blog design. It is crisp, clean and inviting! Blessings:)

  9. says

    It was so great to meet you! And thank you for letting me jump in to your lunch w/ Crystal Paine (honestly, if I’d known what a “big” blogger she was I probably would have been to scared to do that! embarrassing but true). You have such a kind heart, you made me feel like I always had someone to talk to during the weekend :) Thanks for that!

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Crystal! I’m glad you were there (at the lunch), and that our paths crossed quite a bit this weekend! And, of course, appreciate that you got my books for me from Sally Clarkson’s tea. I would have been really sad if I’d missed out on them.

  10. says

    I’m so glad that you were able to connect with so many wonderful and inspiring women! I’ve been to Allume (Relevant) 3 times now and this one was by far the biggest. It was overwhelming for a veteran (albeit an introvert), I can’t imagine going for the first time and facing 400+ women!

    I hope it’s just the beginning of many lifelong and life changing relationships.

  11. says

    This has been my experience at Christian writers’ conferences — the kindness of people willing to teach and share, encourage and equip has given me vision, dreams, and skills I wouldn’t have had if they hadn’t opened their hearts to me. How good God is to bless us so! Visiting from Be Not Weary today.

  12. says

    Crystal, I’m so happy that you found community, but my heart feels sad that you felt that there was anyone who thought perhaps they were “too cool.” Sarah Mae and I talked afterwards that we wished we’d personally hopped around more…and I for one, SO wished that I’d had more time to engage on a more personal level with lots of people. I loved every single second of Allume, but know for sure that I missed out simply because of the details of the event that I had to take care of. I think for me, that I find myself hoping that my distractedness because of event details would have never made anyone think that I was cold. The Allume community is better because of authentic souls such as yourself! I hope you’ll come again next year!!! Hugs!

    • Crystal says

      Logan, I hope that everyone understood that the Allume team had a lot on your minds, and a lot of details you were trying to coordinate all weekend long. I thought you were awesome.

    • Crystal says

      Logan, I hope that everyone understood that the Allume team had a lot on your minds, and a lot of details you were trying to coordinate all weekend long. I thought you were awesome and very friendly :)

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