Last weekend, I attended my first ever blog conference here in The Woodlands. I had heard so many amazing things about Thrive from other blogging friends that I looked forward to the conference for months. It did not disappoint! We danced, we laughed, we learned; a good time was had by all.
Friday evening was the kick-off party, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. The DJ played songs that took us back to high school, which is never a bad thing. Also, it's worth mentioning that I had the best spinach artichoke dip of my life at this party. I got thirds. There were even pictures (plural, as in more than one) in the gallery the photographer posted of me doing work on some dip in the background of someone's otherwise cute picture. Nothing like a photobomber who's oblivious and simultaneously stuffing her face. If you attended Thrive and also saw these pictures, I have nothing to say for myself except that I was hungry and that dip was crazy good.
Saturday was the actual conference, with some incredible speakers like Ashley Rose from Sugar and Cloth and Pinterest expert Kristyn Merkley. Despite my stank face in the pictures below, I absorbed so much information and couldn't wait to get home and put my new knowledge to practice.
Reflecting back on the weekend, the swag bags and pistachio macarons and "Baby Got Back" induced-dancing were only a small part of what I took away from Thrive. While the speakers were phenomenal, it was more a matter of the bigger picture that left me inspired and more ready than ever to dive further into the blogosphere. When I got home Saturday evening, the first thing I said to Zach was, "I feel good about myself". He looked surprised and said something like "Oh, okay, awesome. That's really good" because I've never said anything like that in my life. It's not that I came home thinking I'm all that and a bag of chips with some spinach artichoke dip on the side (because I am so not), it's that the women at Thrive were so genuinely supportive that I felt their love in a big way.
In a community that could so easily be all about competition, I saw a reality that is the complete opposite. I saw a blogger with 30k Instagram followers asking advice from someone with barely a thousand followers. I saw business owners reaching out to other business owners, wanting to collaborate together. I saw speakers, who are bloggers just like the rest of us, pouring out as much information as they could. I saw a room full of encouraging, beautiful women learning from one another. And it was a pretty special thing to behold.
To say that I'm thankful for this community of women would be an understatement; their constant guidance and support give me the courage to write these often silly, but heartfelt, words on Hello Honey. It is my goal to build up everyone around me, to let them know just how special and loved they truly are. Because no matter how much we think we say or show that support, we can always do more. Let's spread more love and less contest. It is then that we all truly thrive.
p.s. all photos by the talented Meg Cady Photography
p.p.s. a huge thank you to my friends Whitney & Bree for putting together such an amazing event!