Friday, October 11, 2013


What a ride the past two years of Online BlogCon have been!! We started OBC as a way to help other, newer bloggers learn the tricks of the trade and form a community. In turn, this community has boosted me as a blogger in ways I never knew an online community was capable of doing. I could have never imagined these online relationships could be so valuable. I consider so many of you to be my friends, and I am so grateful I've had the opportunity to get to know you through this conference.

These friendships and this conference, of course, could not be possible without many, many people helping us along the way, both in big ways and in small. We wanted to devote a post to these people, and publicly make thank yous to some of you!

OBC 2012 Alumni: you all are seriously the BEST. I mean... I just don't have words. You took a chance on us when we had nothing to promise you but a Kindle Fire giveaway.... literally. I clearly remember the shock nad excitement we felt the night we opened registration last year... and you all started signing up! Dorothy and I started frantically texting, "OMG, people are registering!!!!!!" Then to see you all continue to grow and foster this community through the year, help promote it, and be so active in this year's conference is completely overwhelming. This group exemplifies "support," and I thank you!

Special, special, special mention to Joan Hayes for her knowledge and expertise in everything, her dedication to our group, and her constant behind-the-scenes hand holding that she has done for Dorothy and I for as long as we've been working on this project!

Katie, thank you for taking on such a huge task with us this year!! I can't even begin to describe the weight that was lifted off of our shoulders knowing we had someone else to plan with and share responsibility with. You did an incredible job as our social media manger, and we are so grateful!

Thank you to Camille Beckstrand and all the girls over at Six Sisters' Stuff! Camille, especially, has been my Gmail cheerleader all year long-- encouraging me when I was exhausted and loopy, willing to help with multiple posts, actively being a part of the group, promoting OBC, and basically giving us a never-ending supply of YES anytime we asked for anything. Thank you!

 Of course, we'd be no where at all without Dorothy. You guys just don't even know the half of what she is capable of doing once she has a to-do list in her hands!! I spent much of our planning time in 2013 very distracted with other obligations, and Dorothy totally stepped up and took on so much of what needed to be done all by herself. Emails, registration forms, payments, troubleshooting, sponsors, panelists, literally writing the intro to nearly every single post all by herself... Seriously. It was the Dorothy show this year, and I am in awe that she hasn't marched across the country to kick my butt into gear yet! What an amazing and talented business partner and friend she is!!!!

And finally (yes, this is going to end at some point, I promise)... my dear, sweet, always forgiving, always supportive, and always there husband. I don't think Chris will ever read this, so I'm not writing it for his benefit-- but I want you all to know what an incredible behind-the-scenes support system he has been. I have been basically working two full time jobs since about June (my blog + my book, and then my blog + OBC), and he has taken over childcare responsibilities and domestic duties all while working full time and going to school full time. And very rarely (if ever) have I heard a cross word from him. He has never once made me feel guilty for the time I've put outside of our home and family. He allows me to grow and develop, and he's so proud of me to boot. There's so much more I could never put into words, but rest assured: OBC could not have happened without him! My most heartfelt and sincere thank you goes to him. Always.

Wow, where do I start? I mean...there are just so many things I want to say right now I’m just not sure how to begin.

About a year and a half ago, I got a text message from Ashton. Hey, she wrote. I have this idea...And the rest is history.

OBC really is a living, breathing thing. It’s made up of so many people and parts, all of which would not function without the other.

First, I’d like to thank our speakers and panelists. Really, this conference would not have been successful without your knowledge, your time, and your words. You took time out of your busy lives to answer our questions, to write posts, to be in the Facebook group and interact with us. And we thank you for that. Without you - there would have been no conference.

Then, I have to give a shout out to Joan. Without her the Facebook group would not be what it is today. She kept it going when we were on OBC burnout last year. She faithfully started the pin party every week. She managed the group through it all - when Ashton and I could be there, and when we couldn’t. Thank you for all of that Joan. And don’t go far - we still need you!

Katie - thank you for joining our team this year. Last year Ashton and I did everything and, by the end, we were total basket cases. We knew we needed someone to handle the social aspect, to help us with all that stuff that we just couldn’t add to our plates. And she did everything we asked her - and then some - and she did it all amazingly. Thank you so much Katie for doing, well, everything!

I want to thank all of you - all of you faithful OBCers. Some of you have been with us since that first day registration opened in 2012. The day I said to Ashton, “Hey! Let’s start a Facebook Group, it’ll be perfect!” was a day that changed OBC. That group - I never imagined in a million years what it would become. All of you have made it what it is. You’re there to answer questions, give guidance. When someone needs a boost, you give it. When someone deserves recognition, you’re there to hand it out. I want to give you all a huge, ginormous, thank you. One that includes a hug. A big one. OBC would not be what it is today without all of you.

Of course, I want to thank my family. My husband, Mel, who has been so understanding through all of these hectic weeks and months. He’s busy with his job too, traveling a lot, but when he’s here, he’s here. Every time he can, he’s taken Jordan to or from school, done her homework with her. He’s cooked meals and cleaned the house. He’s given me the support I needed. Every time I leave dinner early, or work all weekend, he supports me, without ever questioning it. He wipes away my guilt with one smile - he's my biggest champion. Without him, I’d probably be in a looney bin. And Jordan would really think she was being raised by a computer.

And, then, there’s Ashton. I really have no words to describe how I want to thank her. Three years ago, Ashton stalked me until I became her blog friend. Now? Now she’s a real friend. She really is the embodiment of that community we all talk about so much in blogging. Without her I would not be where I am today. Her friendship, in blogging, and in life, has helped me through my blogging, and it’s gotten me through OBC. I think that Ashton and I get along so well because she’s a big thinker. She has all sorts of these amazing ideas, ones that I would never even think of (you know, like an online blog conference...) and me? Well, I’m the detail one. She dreams of putting on three conferences in one...and I remind her that means 36 posts over four days. This conference would not exist without Ashton  - and I’m along for this crazy ride. Thanks for taking me with you, my friend. xo

Thank you again, everyone. We could not have done this without any of you. You are all OBC.

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