For the 3rd consecutive year I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference. And though bigger doesn’t always mean better, I can’t help but be thrilled for #AWBU Founder Stephanie Buckley (aka @theparkwife) at how the conference has grown.20130914-111711.jpg

Our first year there were maybe 25 in attendance. Last year it seemed like perhaps 40 or 50 (I am totally making this up, I’m a horrible guesstimator.) This year more than one hundred bloggers came from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. And though I didn’t meet even half of the attendees, somehow this year felt more friendly and inclusive than ever before.

It may just be that I was familiar with some of the participants through Twitter and Blogger Meetups. Certainly I was familiar with the local celebrity author types. And I definitely felt a sense of belonging with my bunkmates in the ASH Cabin, but keynote speaker Sophie Hudson (aka @BooMama) really drove home the point when she said, “Remember that we need each other, for community, not competition.”

That, in a nutshell, is what made #AWBU so fantastic this year. The sense of community.

jerusalem and kyranSpecial thanks to the ladies in this community who purchased and took home my daughter’s artwork: Kyran and Jerusalem.  And to Jennifer and Julie who placed custom orders.  Y’all have no idea how much that means to me!