So now it's Friday, and I think I'll try to sum up a week's worth of never-got-written posts with a list of five things that made the conference worthwhile.
- Clearly, the best part of the weekend was the people. From famous bloggers to newbies, friends in real life to people I've only read online, it was a really interesting crowd. Those lovely ladies above all write from here in the Triangle, bloggers came to Asheville from all over the country. Much has been written this week about whether or not the "popular bloggers" were approachable or elitist (two of my favorite posts are from Jessica and Abby) -- personally, I found them all to be lovely, witty and kind.
- Thanks to the Mom Market, I got a head start on my Christmas shopping. And by head start, I mean that I picked up business cards so that I can do all my shopping on these ladies' websites. Trust me when I tell you that you want to check out Lemons with a Pea (and her hilarious blog), BabyPop Designs (what kid doesn't want a custom superhero cape and accessories?), Sweet Sadie Marie (love all the little chalkboards), stringbean17 (creator of Pippi's adorable new backpack, which you'll just have to ask for because it's not on her etsy site), Studio Jewel (I'll take one of each, please) and Cranky Pants (two words: monster booty).
- Okay, let's be honest, the swag was fun. Came home with cool shopping bags, new running socks, a Disney clubhouse towel and notebook, tasty snacks and much much more. Oh, and (brace yourself), a Build-a-Bear. An actual, free, full-sized, snuggly soft Build-a-Bear. You know, because Maxine Clark is just that kind of awesome.
- I learned a lot, both in the sessions and just in conversations with other bloggers. I've already bought my url and set up a Facebook page for my blog (click over to "like" me if you want) -- other changes might take longer to implement. (Scroll through Everyday Baby Steps for details and transcripts from some of the sessions.)
- Coming home. There's nothing like being away for a couple of days to make your family miss you -- and vice versa. My sweet husband sent text messages with photos during the weekend so I could see what the kids were up to. And the hugs I got (along with hand-made cards) when I arrived home were enough to power me through the crazy week ahead.
So thanks to Kelby Carr and all the presenters, volunteers, sponsors and participants who helped make the weekend a success. Here's hoping I can live up to the potential.
Photo by Canape's husband, featuring (L to R) Abby, Andrea, Fadra, me, Jessica, Marty (with her cutest accessory) and Sue.