For months, Beth, Julie, and I worked with sponsors, wrangled speakers and attendees, meticulously watched the budget sheets, promoted everywhere we could, even made cute decor (thanks to our artist in residence Julie and Pinterest because I am a copy-cat, not creative). In the end, it was more than worth it, so much more that unless you were there, I am not sure you can really get it. Our mission of a place to gather, grow, and connect was lived out in real life at the Ozark Folk Center State Park.
There are and will be many blog posts about our wonderful event by the attendees flying all over our webby world. You can hop over and Capture the Awesomeness here. I would like to focus, not about the conference content itself (yes, it was awesome), but about the women. Beware of the gushing.
nwaFoodie Lyndi arrived at the Ozark Folk Center State Park with all of her props, plans, and creativity for a spectacular Foodie Friday event. Let me just say, Lyndi rocks. I am in awe of her organization, work ethic, and how she makes the person she is speaking with feel like they are the only person in the room and they have her full, present attention. That is a unique, honest quality that I adore about her.
Lela Davidson- She is a rock star and my new soul sistah! I could gush on and on about her accomplishments as a writer, but she brought her family here with her and how they looked at her and interacted with her, that book of love, connection, and genuineness is written all over their faces. I am in awe of her Momhood.
Stephanie McCratic - She claims to be terrible at small-talk, yet I did not find that to be true. She is the woman I want to have a standing lunch date with to get deeper than small talk. I love her honesty and I am pretty sure the gal has some sassiness in her.
Rebecca Haden- She is the lady I would like to lock myself in a room with and through osmosis learn at least 25% of what she knows about SEO, social media, and blog content. If that were possible I would not break any more glass on her head.
I have gushed about how Amy James is my new blog crush, but in all honesty, I want her to be my real life friend. She is precious, real, and all around beautiful.
Shannon Magsum- She is creative, genuine, kind, and all kinds of brilliant. She let me hang on her coattails for one of the workshops, which makes her patient, brave, and a bit crazy.
Debbie Arnold – Her cutie-patootie husband dropped her off and she walked in with a great big hug for me, no, I had never met her. She is who I most want to go sit in her kitchen and learn about cooking and life.
Jasmine Banks-Brown- She makes my side hurt laughing and makes me cry from her raw honesty that exudes thoughtfulness and love. She and I are bound together through a beautiful, mystical strand of respect and honoring each others story and pursuits, no matter how different.
Kyran Pittman – She exudes beauty. I am not just talking about her awesome legs which I would love to have (but not ready to work out to get)! Everything about her is beautiful and wise. If it were possible, I would choose her to be my life coach.
Jerusalem Greer – Crafty scissors have always made me tremble and my hubby locks up the paint after the kitchen painting disaster of 2008, so I live vicariously through her projects and total cuteness of all thing jolly goode. She was placed in my path at the exact moment I needed comfort this weekend, thank you for being there. Definitely a God thing.
Paige Burkham- First and foremost, your parents raised you well. You are an extraordinary young woman who is going to have a wonderful, beautiful life. Remember, always remain true to yourself and you will find true success.
And last and not least, Jackie Wolven. We live two totally different existences, but when I am with her I feel a kinship and connection that is pure and beautiful. I have and will learn a lot from her.
Stay tuned for the next post, where I will honor more of the women who touched my life at AWBU 2012. I can not even start with Julie, Beth and Fawn yet. Not emotionally ready, plus, I still need to catch up on my sleep. And, unload boxes. And, soak my feet.
The Park Wife