A Blogging Conference, Friends, and Me

A Blogging Conference, Friends, and Me - jenniferajanes.com

A Blogging Conference, Friends, and Me

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the fourth annual Arkansas Women Bloggers conference in beautiful Rogers, Arkansas. This is the third time I’ve been to the conference, and it has always been a wonderful experience. But this year was different. Instead of driving to the conference alone, I met a group of Southwest Arkansas Women Bloggers, and we carpooled. I knew I liked these ladies from having regular blogger meet-ups with them, but on this trip I really got to know them and am blessed to call them friends.

What’s great about these friendships is that although we were brought together by blogging, we found a lot of common ground beyond that despite age differences, different educational choices for our children, varying religious backgrounds, vastly different decisions about hair length and whether or not to color gray hair 😉 , music preferences, and other things that sometimes cause issues in relationships between women. We all accept and appreciate one another “as is,” and that’s refreshing.

Of course, the conference itself was amazing too! We had great fellowship, sessions full of information about branding, freelancing tips, taking great pictures with your smartphone, living great stories to tell great stories, and more. We also heard inspiring stories from conference sponsors who are providing jobs and creating products right here in Arkansas!

I am already looking forward to next year, and the venue and dates haven’t even been announced yet! If you blog and are in a state served by The Women Bloggers communities, or even in one nearby (they’ll adopt you), contact them and get involved!

Here are some of the highlights of the weekend (lots of selfies!):

AWBU 2014 Collage

  1. A wonderful selfie of the Southwest Arkansas Women Bloggers before we started our road trip. The photo was taken by Karen and is used with permission. From left to right are: Shelia, Alicia, me, Karen, and Jessica.
  2. Me with Tiffany, a new friend and colleague (we’re working on a writing team together) who was also one of my roommates at AWBU. Janeal, my other roommate, has been my gratitude partner since AWBU 2013, but I didn’t want to use her photos without permission, and I haven’t gotten it yet. 😉
  3. Me with Karen Jordan, an author I met at last year’s conference, who also happens to be the mother of a friend of mine from church! It’s a small world we live in.
  4. Me with the wonderful Robin, who represented sponsor Riceland Foods very well. (Grab some tissues before you watch the videos on their site. They’ll pull at your heartstrings, these families who grow our food!)
  5. The lovely Kellee modeling a dress made entirely of rubber bands to showcase some products from sponsor Alliance Rubber Company.
  6. Me with Heidi! I met her at the very first AWBU; she’s also the mother of a child with special needs.
  7. Me with Jamie, a faithful friend online and off. I’m excited that I got to visit with her more this year than last. (She’s giving me tips about freelance writing too!)
  8. Me with Jackie. She has great ideas on her website. Reading one of her emails inspired me to research and start a bullet journal, which has done wonders for my writing/blogging productivity. She’s got great ideas about branding too. You should follow her if you’re in any kind of business. She’s brutally honest, but only because she wants you to do your best work!
  9. Me with Taylor, who runs the Texas Women Bloggers community and is  a fellow blogger and Pinterest rock star.
  10. Last but not least, me with the founder of The Women Bloggers / Arkansas Women Bloggers – Stephanie – and Yavonda!

(I had other pictures, but some were blurry or the lighting was even worse than some of these. Maybe next year. :(  )

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16 Responses to A Blogging Conference, Friends, and Me

  1. What a lovely post. I enjoyed getting to know each of you better. Thank you so much for allowing me to go with you and be apart of your group.

  2. Karen W says:

    So glad we got to spend the weekend together. I’m already looking forward to next year as well, and can’t wait for another meet-up

  3. Debbie says:

    It was a great conference, wasn’t it . I wish you could have made Foodie Friday as well, but I know how hard that can be. So good to see you.

  4. Laurie says:

    It was great to meet you in person, Jennifer! I look forward to keeping up with you and seeing you again next year. :)

  5. I am so, so glad we got a chance to meet. The beginning of a long, beautiful, cat-filled friendship!

    • Oh, Georgeanne, me too! I was so disappointed that the picture we took together didn’t turn out, despite our best efforts. :(

      I’m looking at one of our cats now. Just waiting for her to get into something. 😉

  6. It was great seeing you again, Jennifer!

  7. I’m so happy to have met you!! I vote next year the conference should be held in Southwest Arkansas:))

  8. Jacqueline says:

    I’ve been thinking what my business card should say and you might have nailed it: She’s brutally honest, but only because she wants you to do your best work!

    It is always a pleasure to see you. I read, but usually don’t comment, your site and your championing special needs. I love that you have found your calling. – Jacqueline

    • Thank you, Jacqueline. Whether I tell you enough or not (I don’t), you have played a role in helping me to find my calling and in helping me see what my best work looks like. Thank you for everything! I always look forward to seeing you too, and I know that any brutal honesty sent my direction is done in love and from a sincere desire to help.

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