First, congratulations to the BlogU15 staff and organizers, nicely done. My husband and I are frequent conference attendees and have had the privilege of working behind the scenes at conferences, there are a thousand moving parts and never any down time for the organizers. Everyone was so kind and generous with questions and responsive to making the conference experience enjoyable. I hope everyone is able to rest this week, you poured so much energy out into creating very welcoming spaces, no small feat.
I loved that BlogU15 is held on a campus rather than a hotel, the grounds at Notre Dame are beautiful and within a half hour of arriving I had discovered the beautiful chapel. The chapel became my quiet place when I needed to pull back and reflect on why I write. Beauty calms the spirit, and the discovery of Mayer of Munich stained glass windows was an unexpected joy of the weekend.
Many of you know that I attended the BlogU15 conference as my personal challenge for 2015. I tried to be diligent about emptying myself of expectations of the conference so that I could have open hands to receive the unexpected. I struggled with that and was grateful for the generosity and conversation with Susan Maccarelli of Beyond Your Blog on Saturday morning. I was able to “re-boot” so to speak, refresh my browser, and start the day new. I had a beautiful day Saturday. I am so grateful for the time with Jen Kehl ofBeyond Blog Design in the Design Lab, I knew as I walked away from that time that I had been given a great gift. There were so many classes that I wanted to attend, like all of them, having to chose was very difficult. I came away from each class content that I had chosen the right one, still wishing I could have squeezed in others, and always wishing I had taken better notes.
I would have to say my favorite part of the weekend was the new friendships that I brought home. I had the great privilege of meeting sisters from Canada who graciously indulged me in my love for dogs. It is hard to explain how exciting it is to find kindred spirits and to be able to talk for hours about dogs, horses, and rescue animals, about animals who have touched our souls and changed our lives. I met another amazing woman, a photographer, writer, a woman full of passion and spirit for her book and her garden, another kindred spirit. All around me I met gracious and generous women, women who listened to each others stories, women who were not afraid of tears and emotions.
I came home with a wealth of technical knowledge, most of which I have not unpacked yet. What I have unpacked is the memories of conversation and cupcakes, memories of an impromptu Q&A on Instagram, thank you Malan for your patience! And I came home with a sense of peace about my writing, my voice, my blog, why I write, why I will keep writing.
I very grateful and heartfelt thank you to everyone at BlogU15, wishing everyone a very restorative and peaceful summer!
*This WIRL was originally published on Back of the North Wind.
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About the Author…
Terri Jackson is a writer, wife, and mother of two sons. Her oldest son, Justin, was killed in a vehicle accident September 27, 2010. Terri and her husband, Doug, have been married for over thirty years, her blog tells the story of their struggles, tears, and the joy and humor of learning to live again after the unthinkable happens. She has been published in “We Need Not Walk Alone”, the national magazine for The Compassionate Friends organization. Terri has discovered a love for being a canine foster parent for rescued Shepherds, home brewing beer and mead, and hosting book studies in their home as she explores her new “normal.” Her blog can be found at www.backofthenorthwind.com.Add to favorites