A Pressing My Way Adventure: SLIG 2019 | Part One (I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends)

I was first introduced to the idea of S.L.I.G. (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy) in 2017 at the NGS (National Genealogical Society) Family History Conference by my geneabuds Amy Urman and J. Paul Hawthorn. I put it on my list of places to attend in the future and just two short years later I had planned it all out and was on my way…


I’m a firm believer that if you put good out into the world that it will always come back to you. The events that led to me actually making it to SLIG have enhanced that belief by 100% at least! I’m also a HUGE believer in #PROJECTING where you want to be in life. Long story short, when a wedding that I had photographed in August ended with the frustration of a non-paying client, my trip was RUINED! I had planned on this wedding income to cover my expenses and now the trip that I was gifting myself for my birthday was over and done with before it had even gotten started.

Fast forward to mid November, SLIG was still heavy on my mind. It didn’t help seeing the Facebook posts of the future attendees and their “I can’t keep still I’m going to SLIG” memes; it only added to the frustration that I felt about not being able to go. I made up my mind… I was going and that was that, I HAD to go! I just knew that I would regret it if I didn’t make it. I started planning and budgeting and somewhere between giving blood and pulling extra shifts at work I started to feel a little bit defeated. It was in that moment of sheer frustration that I happened to glance at my friends list on Facebook and typed out a random statement. 11/16 10:02am.

I swear to you, I didn’t REALLy expect anything to come of it. Facebook however, decided that from that status I should create a fundraiser for my birthday. I thought to myself, “why not, what could it hurt?” I didn’t share it, except to my own personal page. I just kind of set it and forgot about it. By 11pm that same night, my little fundraiser had raised $447! I was in shock to say the least.

Six hours later $482! I had surpassed my $200 a week plan/goal in under 24 hours. I was in shock. By the time a full 24 hours had hit (Saturday 11/17) the fundraiser was at $527! I could feel my goal of actually attending SLIG becoming more and more of a reality. Now that there were so many of my gen-friends who believed in me and were routing for my cause; what if I fell short and still wasn’t able to make it? I was starting to worry a bit. That fear was completely quelled as the support continued to pour in! $702, $752, $777, $792, $802. My phone just kept dinging! I felt so special, honored, and most of all humbled that people actually wanted to support and help me get to SLIG!

I was feeling under the weather and slept on and off most of the next day (Sunday 11/18) trying to recover. I’m on a night shift schedule so that is my norm except that it was my day off. I finally made it out of bed around 6:30pm When I finally grabbed my phone I saw that it was full of updates and congratulations. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop crying. My goal had not only been met, but it had been surpassed!

I had raised $1000 in LESS than 3 days!!! Talk about a birthday miracle! Sick, wheezy with barely any kind of voice, looking a hot mess, but none of that mattered because I HAD to make a THANK YOU video for everyone who supported and donated because… I WAS GOING TO SLIG!


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