Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blogs, Blogs, & Podcasts

My co-blogger gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. She has her own fabulous blog over at Genealogically Speaking. To anyone doing research Down Under, or from two different countries a world apart for that matter, Caitie Gow is a researcher that can teach you thing or two. Be on the lookout for her as she attends Rootstech 2015 and all the rest of her genea-journeys. She's certain to become a force to be reckoned with.

Here are the Rules for the “One Lovely Blog Award”:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog
2. Share Seven things about yourself – refer below
3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!) – also listed below
4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award

Seven Things about Myself
  1. I lived in Brazil for a year and I speak and write fluently in Portuguese
  2. My husband and I own over 1,000 books. Our idea of redecorating is buying more bookshelves.
  3. I started doing genealogy because of my mother. She used to force me to go to cemeteries as a child, and I never imagined there could be anything more strange. But it made me want to know who my family was and where we came from. I've been searching for them ever since.
  4. I actually got to meet two of my great-grandmothers. One died just before I turned 8, the other just after I turned 10. I have vivid memories of both of them.
  5. The person I admire more than anyone else in this world is my grandmother. She is everything I ever want to be. She has had the strength and the courage to forgive so many people who didn't deserve it. Anyone at all is always welcome in her home, and at her table. No matter how far anyone falls from grace in our family, they're always welcome at Thanksgiving and she never takes their picture down from her wall. If I had one ounce of her true kindness, I would be a better person.
  6. I believe whole-heartedly in fortune cookies.
  7. My favorite color is purple. So it works out that my name is Heather.

I like quizzy little Answer-these-Questions type things because I like introspection. But I recognize not everyone likes the idea of being obligated to do something by random people on the internet. So instead of passing on the challenge inherent in this award, I will point out a few of the blogs I follow. If they want to accept the award and pass it on, great...

 ... if not, it won't churn my butter.

  • Clue Wagon by Kerry Scott. We clearly love all of the same t.v. shows. She has a fresh, honest voice in the genealogical community I find to be refreshing. I get excited every time I see a new post from her.
  • The Ancestry Insider - Aside from the impressive accomplishment of being TIME magazine's Man of the Year in 2006, he also has a keen interest in honest commentary of genealogy's corner of the internet. There's nothing going down at Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, or pretty much with anything else genealogy-related that he doesn't know about. As the last one to know everything, it's nice to have someone to look to for answers when something goes down.
I've been looking for a place to slide this in, and here seems like the perfect place. I love podcasts. A lot. And there are a few I think that, if you aren't tuning in, you are definitely missing out. If you like podcasts and genealogy, be sure to check a few of these out!

  • Extreme Genes: Ever imagined what a genealogy radio show would sound like? It would sound exactly like Extreme Genes. As an iHeart radio program, there are tons of ways you can access it.
  • Genealogy Gems: from Lisa Louise Cooke, who does a little bit of everything. News, interviews, product reviews, etc.
  • Family Tree Magazine podcast: Great highlights from Family Tree magazine, especially if you don't have a subscription.
  • Genealogy Guys: Interviews from big genealogy events and conferences. 
  • Geneatopia: Great for Genealogy headlines

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Our Stories: Preparing for my first RootsTech

During the latter half of 2013, RootsTech and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced that they were combining their conferences in 2015. I thought ‘Hey, I’m graduating from Uni at the end of 2014, why not make it a graduation present to myself?’ And with that, I made it my goal to attend.

At the beginning of 2014, I began researching information about RootsTech to get an idea of hotels, prices and whatnot. I learned that it is a good idea to book your hotel around July/August when prices are released. So, I did.

Since July, I had been checking the website almost every day to find out when registration was going to open. It kept saying ‘late summer’ and at some point it changed to ‘late August’. When I checked it on Tuesday the 26th of August, the RootsTech website said registration would open on August 29th. I just about jumped out of my chair. I looked at the prices and noticed that it was $159 + FGS add-on for $39. I crossed over to the FGS website and discovered that registration was already open there, for a cost of $139 if you register before September 12th + RoostTech add-on of $39. Basically, registering for FGS was $20 cheaper. So, on Friday the 29th of August, that’s what I did. You can watch my video of that HERE (Warning: dancing included).

I have been saving and saving for this trip and am super excited, but I am also a little worried because it could be my first overseas trip solo. My Aunt might come with me but we are not 100% sure at this stage. During my excitement this past week, I bought myself a super cute travel diary the other day, along with a new 2015 diary (seriously? It’s only September!). The hotel is booked and registration is done. Flights? Not yet. I’m saving up a little bit more money before I do that. My main priority is booking the Dallas – Salt Lake City flight though. 

I also need to watch some videos about RootsTech so I can make sure I am prepared and have everything I need. One particular video I am going to watch is the Google Hangout Jill Ball (GeniAus) did about RootsTech for first timers.

Every now and then I get many thoughts and questions running through my head such as…
- Do I take my laptop or tablet or both?
- How many business cards do I need? Should I order more beforehand?
- Should I use a separate camera for vlogging instead of my phone?

Little random yet important questions like that!

I will keep y'all updated with blog posts and videos about my preparation for RootsTech & FGS.

Are YOU going to RootsTech & FGS next year?

Do YOU have any advice for my first time at RootsTech & FGS? Or a first genealogy conference in general?