(Part 1, Part 2,

and this Part 3 will be the last bit about the conference.)

After waiting in line to get a copy of my photo with the Sesame Street muppets it was time to book it up to the room to get ready for the best and most important part of the BlogHer conference. The Voices of the Year community keynote program is just about as special as you can imagine. It’s a huge ballroom filled with bloggers listening to the best blog posts of the year.

Often we read something on a blog and we sit back and think WOW! Then we click away to another blog or to our e-mail. But there is something altogether magical about a blogger standing at a podium and reading the words to you. To hear the quiver in the voice in an emotional moment or to share a laugh with thousands of people.

BlogHer keynote
Cecily at the Community Keynote

It was truly an honor to witness such an event and it was made all the more special by knowing several of the bloggers that were up there sharing their posts with everyone. (I also loved that it was closed captioned!)

at the BlogHer keynote
Eden, Mel & Alex just after the Keynote

Being able to hug Eden, Mel and Alex after Eden had read her stunning post about honoring Vee’s husband? How do you even describe that to someone? How do you begin to tell someone who “just blogs” that blogging can be so much more. How do you explain that the ripples that we all put out here touch other people and that their ripples touch us and that we are all connected. We just are. We are. Blogging about our life.

Following the keynote was a cocktail reception and I tried to be chill and mellow when asked by Elisa Camahort Page, “so how was your session?” Fine, I was a bit of a nerd. But a happy nerd! I know I am sounding so incredibly mushy, but I had such an easy time connecting with people this year and such a lack of, “what if people don’t like me?” It makes a huge difference to feel confident at a conference and I owe Elisa for that – for giving me the “I believe in you” gift.

BlogHer keynote
Kate of SweetSalty, Briar, Me, Elisa, & Robin

A small group of us ate dinner around fire pits at the pool and I tried to convince Mel to come dancing at the Sparklecorn party (I’m going to pretend that I was *this* close to convincing her).

Saturday was a day of sessions, signing a photobook that a photo of mine was featured in and touring the expo hall for gifts for W.  I was then able to meet up with friends for a screening of The Help (so so good!) and more parties and all night dancing. Seriously. SO MUCH DANCING!

movie screening blogher
JJ, Me & R at a screening of The Help

This conference was inspiring and motivating and overwhelming and exhilarating and amazing. My goal was to meet in real life friends that I have only known on-line and to meet people who I might not have the chance to by sticking in my own little blog corner. I always extended my hand and smiled and I hope I have made some new friends. And yes, I am already thinking about next year’s conference. I hope I will see you there!

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