July 31, 2008 —

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to represent Five Moms at BlogHer08 in San Francisco. BlogHer is an organization that is dedicated to helping women bloggers connect and learn with each other about the world of blogging. The weekend-long conference is noted as one of the biggest and most important gatherings for this group of outstanding women.

I had so much fun meeting new people and learning more about blogging. Hearing everyone's stories about how they started blogging and what motivates them was truly inspiring. I hope to use some of the tips that I learned at the conference to help further the Five Moms mission of raising awareness about cough medicine abuse.

As excited as I was to learn more about Internet communication and online communities and to meet some of my favorite bloggers, I was thrilled (and surprised) to find out that some of them were actually looking forward to meeting me. At a kickoff event early in the weekend, I even sat in for a video interview with Five Minutes for Mom! Later that night, I also caught up with a group of moms from Silicon Valley Moms who had made BlogHer their destination on a cross-country road trip while they blogged all the way. They said the trip was long, but a lot of fun.

At a conference full of bloggers, it was great to find out that there were people who were familiar with Five Moms. One woman even approached me on an elevator because I was wearing a Five Moms sweatshirt and she remembered hearing about our campaign! It really encouraged me to continue spreading our message about cough medicine abuse.

The BlogHer conference was a great opportunity to share the Five Moms message and to talk about my personal story. I even had the opportunity to point to the Selecciones article about why this campaign matters so much to me.

I've been volunteering on the online Five Moms effort for over a year now and it has been so gratifying receiving e-mails and reading other parents' posts on our Gather community pages, but meeting fellow moms and having the chance to share stories and personal tips face-to-face was an amazing experience. I left the conference reenergized about the importance of the work Blaise, Christy, Julie, Becky, and I are doing on Five Moms. The women at BlogHer must be among the most informed and engaged parents I have ever met, and a number of them even were unaware of the trend by teens nowadays to abuse cough medicines. The Five Moms are dedicated to changing that. As parents, we have so much power to keep our kids drug-free, but we have got to know about the current teen trends to do it. For this reason I think perhaps the most important resource we have at Five Moms is our tell-a-friend tool. It's a quick thing every parent can do to make sure their friends and neighbors all understand this substance abuse behavior and know the ways to address it.