This past week I was a mentor at a blogging conference called Haven.

I couldn’t wait.

I prepared sage words of wisdom and encouragement and little speeches on how to grow your blog and why you shouldn’t title your posts random things about your toes and to make sure you labeled your pictures instead of leaving it to your computer.

And why trying to be a perfect blogger was completely and utterly over-rated.

But in all my planning—in all my prep and blogging lesson write-up and lists of reasons to be yourself—

I had no idea I’d lead by example.

For our second mentor session, we were all seated in the main ballroom around a giant table.

All the mentee bloggers were gathered around, pulling up chairs and sharing what they’d learned in the morning session and talking to each other and showing everyone pages of notes they’d taken in their classes.

I was answering questions and talking and handing out sage words of advice and sounding generally brilliant and extremely mentor-like.

Everything was going according to plan.

I was in the middle of handing out advice about something extremely important like how to talk to sponsors or photography tips or why cute hair was a must-have for a blog conference when I happened to glance down at the time on my phone.

I was teaching a session at 3:45 that afternoon and I didn’t want to be late.

Mentors are never late.

They are on time with cute hair and purple toes and they exude wisdom and professionalism at all times.

As the time popped up on my phone I stared in horror.

What?  What was that?  This couldn’t be right.  This couldn’t be true.


I was late.

The classroom wouldn’t have a teacher.

In a mad scramble, I grabbed my phone and my papers and my tattered dignity and leapt up from the table and ran out of the room.

In my haste, I left my mentor group in the dust without even a goodbye.

I ran down the hall at top speed, turned the corner, and plowed right through the middle of a sponsor booth—-almost knocking over their sign in my frantic four-minute harried attempt to get to my class.

I dodged this way and that way and twisted and turned—-all in a desperate, valiant attempt to get to the room.

It was just like a giant game of Frogger.

And then?

Four minutes and 23 seconds later I was there.

My name tag and I had finally arrived at the classroom.

I ran up to the door and threw it open and stood in the center of the door way, huffing and puffing with a red face and wild eyes and hair that looked like it had just showed up from a windstorm.

Empty seats stared back at me.

The classroom was empty except for a mentor group that was meeting there.

They stared at me like I’d just arrived from Mars and I stared back at them as I started to mumble incoherent words about teaching a class and being late and trying to be a perfect mentor.

What are you doing here?  You’re early?  It’s only 3:35 they said.

The next session hadn’t started yet and I still had 10 minutes to get ready.

I closed the door and slid down the wall outside.

Somehow I had misread the time on my phone.

Somehow I had ran past the entire conference like a marathon runner and left my entire mentor group without a sage word of wisdom to be found.

Somehow—I had taken those lessons I was trying to teach to the next level.

I took the speech about being yourself and being unique and being authentic and about messing up and being an imperfect blogger to heart….

…and decided to give a class demonstration. 🙂

PS  While I was being imperfect and wild-hairing it at Haven—Painted Fox loaded up some of the cutest things in my shop.  You can see them in the pictures in this post and read more about them here.  Plus—the shop is having a 30%off sale right now.  You can get 30% off right now with the code flirty30.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Brenda Brenda

    Perfection is soooo overrated! I bet the attendees loved you for showing them how to keep it real. Life sometimes happens. I'm sure your hair still looked good, even wind blown! And remember God was smiling down on you saying " There's my Karianne, how I love her and her red lipstick!"

  2. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Love it....!! Very funny.....and so true...we all do things like that....was hoping for a pic of the hair!!....... I'm sure you looked great! Love the flat wicker tray in the first photo, any idea where it's from?? Thx!!

  3. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Well, this made me laugh out loud! And I can so relate. I've never been late for a conference but I used to be notoriously late for church. So I did what every good Christian girl does...I prayed about it. But sure as shootin', there I was the next Sunday running late again. On the drive to the church, I said, "Lord, I know this is my fault again and I'm so sorry but please don't let me be late." He replied, "Do you trust me?" I answered, "Yes, of course I do, Lord!" This conversation between me and God -- me lamenting and repenting and Him always asking, "Do you trust me?" -- all the way to the church parking lot. Which was empty. Because it was Daylight Savings Time and I was an hour early.

    1. Image for Jean McGee Jean McGee

      Thanks for the laugh out loud and now a smile. Trust in the LORD - that's the answer and the goal. HE already knew you would not be late. HE probably was smiling too. Jean McGee

    2. Image for Kris Kris

      So funny! I find it's easier to be on time when I have to drive further, because I plan for it. If I'm physically close to my destination, I leave things till the last minute, because "I'm just around the corner ...". And after (ahem) over 50 years on this planet, I have learned to give myself a time buffer, cuz if something could cause me to be late ... it will happen.

    3. Image for Toni Toni

      Oh my goodness, Michelle! This was awesomely wonderful and funny and true!! And yes, when we trust Him, He surprises us in ways we would never guess! (Your story could be mine!) Thanks for sharing such a sweet story!

  4. Image for laura {not a trophy wife} laura {not a trophy wife}

    I was in Melissa's mentor group when I looked up and saw you running in the door, clearly seeing something was not right. It was fun and real! Just like you! So much fun. I got back to Colorado last night, via Knoxville, and sorting through so much. Feeling overwhelmed... something tells me you can relate! Thank you for a "totally amazing" hour with you on Thursday night. All my love and support, laura

  5. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Congratulations on coming in early competing in your first marathon. It is your first, isn't it?? I wish I could have been there. Instead of adorable flip flops, have you thought about roller skates? Or how about a scooter? I wish I could hear your speeches. *sigh* I bet they were terrific!! I'm glad everything went well. Hugs!! 🤗

  6. Image for Jean McGee Jean McGee

    Good grief - you had me running along side of you and panting. I ooops and slid down the wall with you.. T.h.e.n I smiled and thought: "Yep, Karianne!!!!!" Jean McGee

  7. Image for terie terie

    OH MY! reminds me of something I did last fall. I teach first-year English classes at the local community college ( well 20 minutes away) . One morning I got up, had a great homemade breakfast and was having a leisurely 2nd cup of coffee- when a student emailed that she would be late for the 9:30 class. I wondered why she emailed me , a day in advance and then realized that my class started in 30 minutes - YEP- got the days mixed up- and I had exactly 30 minutes to get ready, fly out the door and get to a class 20 minutes away. Unfortunately my teleporter was Out Of Order that day- YES- we've all been there.......

  8. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh please come sit with me! I adore you and your amazing, real stories. It makes all my awkward moments just a little more bearable. I can just see your mentoring group going like huh? What just happened? 😊 Hugs, Cecilia

  9. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    You are so great! I could visualize that whole thing and totally understand the hair everywhere! My husband fondly calls it "Big Hair" as its curly and I have tons of it. Luckily you didn't look like Cousin It when you arrived- that"s what I would look like! Cousin It with curly out of control hair!

  10. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Would you please date your blog posts since you've changed your blog format? It's a little difficult to figure out which goes first. I loved your old format but realize you probably felt you needed an update. I get that. But dates would be helpful.

  11. Image for Kim Kim

    Your classes and speech were perfection, in all the right ways that connected to what each one of us at Haven needed to hear and see to further ourselves. I'm so thankful I got to hear, see, laugh, cry, and soak in all the uplifting words in your closing speech and your class. Thank you for taking us on the ride with you!! Otherwise, it'd be pretty boring ;)

  12. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    #soclosetoamazing Hah! No one left this as a comment... I can't believe it! Yeah, man! Happy dancing over here that I got it first. And I'm even late to the party!

Comments are closed.