The Best Part About Haven Conference

One year ago, I was a sad puppy, and I sat at home watching (with my sad puppy eyes) all my favorite bloggers attend Haven.  I promised myself that I would make it there next year no matter what.

Well, I wasn’t expecting to be pregnant.  And I sure as shootin’ wasn’t expecting to be on bedrest.

On New Year’s Day, I camped out on my computer, and made sure to snatch up my conference ticket and book my hotel.

Four months later, I got the best surprise of my life.  Two weeks ago, I had some rough times.  Pregnancy is different for every lady.  I’ve had all kinds of things from severe cramping, to continued throwing up (even past the first trimester), to throwing up blood.

Going to Haven was down to the wire.  I needed to take care of myself and this baby.  Could I do that at a blog conference?  I wasn’t sure until the night before.  Aaron insisted that I go, even if I didn’t leave the hotel room.  I needed to leave the house.  Why?  Because breathing drywall dust from sanding mud, and trying to rest in a construction zone isn’t the most zen-ful activity.  My mom came with to take care of me and make sure I didn’t over-do it.

Thursday morning we flew to Atlanta.  And boy, were our arms tired!  (insert cheezy joke drum sequence followed by symbol)

Checked in, and THIS was on my tv.  I felt like a star.

Small Blog Haven Conference Experience

Along with a super fancy room, of course.

Small Blog Haven Conference Experience

That night, I got to go out with my dear friend Tracie from Middle Class Modern.  She took me out for an authentic Atlanta experience.

She is so gracious, good-humored, and absolutely charming to be around!

Small Blog Haven Conference Experience

Friday morning I woke up, fully ready to be a Haven Maven to the max.  But…….  I got sick.  So much.  There was no way I could make it down to where all the fellow Mavens were.  So I sat on Instagram, looking at everyone’s Haven pictures, feeling left out and bummed.  ESPECIALLY since I was so close.

That afternoon I finally felt up to going to some classes.  I learned so much and was able to start talking to so many people!  But that night, when everyone was cocktailing it up, I was back in my room, eating my Jason’s Deli potato.

Being Pregnant at Haven

But Saturday was a good day.  I was able to go to classes from every block.  Which to me, was an accomplishment.  NO BARF!  I figured I would celebrate by taking a baby-bump mirror picture.

Being Pregnant at Haven

Bloggers are amazing.  There is something so magical about meeting them in person.  I was able to connect with Mandi from Vintage Revivals a little more.  She and my older sister know each other.  We went to the same elementary school, middle school, and high school.  We hail from the same hood.  So that was fun to discover.

Being Pregnant at Haven

Being Pregnant at Haven

One of the very best parts was hanging out with Beth from Sawdust and Embryos.  I LOVE her.  She was the very first blog I started reading.  When she reached out and started talking to me, I would get heart palpitations.  She is now one of my really close friends, and I’m incredibly grateful for her friendship.  Meeting her in real life was the icing on the cake.

Being Pregnant at Haven

My mum is hands down the most amazing lady.  It meant so much for me that she would tag along to make sure I behaved myself.

Being Pregnant at Haven

Before we left, I got to have breakfast with one last blogger friend from Georgia.  Bethany from The Sepia Puppy.  She is so genuine and lovable.  It was wonderful.

Being pregnant at Haven

You guys.  I love blogging.  It’s such a creative outlet for me.  It’s therapy.  It’s seen me through some really tough times.  I enjoy putting my time and effort into it.  But the very very very best thing that I have received from blogging is relationships.  I have made some deep and lasting friendships with other bloggers and readers.  It’s such a great platform for finding people with similar interests.  Bloggers are real people.  They aren’t actors.  And when you get us all in one place, it is magic.  Even though I spent a good portion of Haven in front of the toilet and laying on the bed watching HGTV, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.

And if you follow my facebook page, you know that there were some CRAZY things happening at the house while I was out of town.  And this week is just about to get crazier.

Thursday-Monday come the cabinet installers.
Saturday comes the tree removal company (which includes a crane, and permits to close our street)
Monday-Tuesday come the roofers.
Tuesday comes the counter top templater.
Wednesday comes the slab of counter.

 I hope you’re ready for some juicy juicy juicy posts!

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  • Emma (Broke Ass Home)

    Bloggers? People? Nooooo….

    I’m just kidding- I think my DIYAS are my favorite thing about blogging! You guys are the best! Love your face.

    PS: you are a giant.

    • Kenz

      DIYAS run deep! We need to skype-watch mean girls 🙂 And, I know all about the giant-ness that I am. SO MUCH TALL!

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

    so glad you got to enjoy some of the event and meet Beth & Mandi. I’m super jealous and will completely, 100% be your roomie next year. It’s on like donkey kong.

    and I can’t wait to see your new kitchen!

    • Kenz

      I’m really glad I ended up being able to go, even if it wasn’t the full Haven experience. I’m going to hold you to that offer!!! ROOMIES 2014! They said it’s going to by in July next year instead of August, so start planning!

      • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue

        july would actually be SO MUCH better for me– since I work at a school they hate when we take time off in august. HECK YES.

        • Kenz

          YEAH!!!! You won’t even have to fake sick 🙂

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    Meeting YOU was one of the highlights of MY Haven experience too! I wish we lived closer!! I’m pretty sure we would hang out all the time and get NO blogging done whatsoever. 🙂

    • Kenz

      We really would hang out all the time! We would probably start a craft night and just end up eating ramen and oreos 🙂 I wish we lived closer too!

  • anne @ wit wisdom and food

    I have been waiting to hear how this went for you. I am in your spot from last yearn and crazy jealous I wasn’t there. I need to buckle down and get there next year. Looking forward to all those house updates this week

    • Kenz

      Aw thanks Anne! You definitely need to go next year! And then we can meet!!! YEAHH!!!

  • Reggalicious

    Seeing you on the convention floor with your little Haven badge made me think of Comic-Con. I can totally appreciate how much fun you must have had, glad you and Ol’ No-Feetus made it out there!

    • Kenz

      Thanks Reg! Me and ol’ no-feetus definitely had a good time 🙂

  • Tara @ Surburble

    Oh Kenzie – I’m so jealous of the fact that you got to go to Haven. I’m sorry that you got the barfs during the conference, though – it must have been disappointing to have to hole up in your room when you really wanted to be downstairs.

    You look absolutely gorgeous, and I think that you are a trooper, heading to a conference not knowing what your body would let you do. And you’re a good mama, giving yourself down time when you need it.

    … I’m still so envious that you got to take those blog classes. I’m an eternal student (Dorky McDorkerson here) – I would have been in my glory!

    • Kenz

      Okay. I love you to the moon and back. I need YOU to come to Haven next year. And we need to sit and giggle together. The classes I was able to were so good. I soaked it all in. You and me, we’re the eternal students!

  • Katja @ Shift Ctrl ART

    Holy moly things are happenin’ in your neck of the woods. I am so excited for you! I just promised myself that I won’t miss the Alt conference next year in SF, so I totally get that.

    Oh so much awesome blog goodness coming up here. I’ll keep stalking 😉

    • Kenz

      I feel the same about Alt in SF. I LOVE sf!!! They do an Alt Summit in Utah too, but I would rather go to the one in San Fran! Things are definitely getting crazy up in here. Pray for me to not lose my sanity!

  • Shalynn Hansen

    Yay Kenz Face! So happy to hear you had fun! Can’t wait to see your house all gussied up! Love you so much doll! Hang in there!

    • Kenz

      Thanks Shalynn! I love you! I promise when it’s done that we will have you and B over for dinner 🙂

  • Woohoo! So happy you were able to make it A) to Haven and B) out of your room to attend some classes! And how sweet is your mom?! Mom of the year award right there 🙂

    • Kenz

      You are so right. She deserves an award! You better come to Haven next year!!!

      • I really, REALLY want to but my possible sister-in-law is getting married 8/2 and I’m one of her bridesmaids! I see you mentioned that they’re going to move it to July though! Do you know specific dates? If it’s early enough in the month, I *might* be able to swing both! 😉

        • Kenz

          They haven’t said the specific dates yet, but the DID say it would for sure be July next year. Hopefully it works out! It is definitely worth it.

  • Wanda Hoffs

    oh bless your heart! it was one incredible conference that has left me motivated more than ever!

    • Kenz

      Me too Wanda! I have a to-do list a mile long for this little ol’ blog of mine.

  • Amber @ Wills Casa

    I’m so jealous that you got to go! I wish I would have. I thought it was just too close to the due date although technically I have a few more weeks before I have to stay grounded. It looks like an amazing time. Maybe next year we can take the babies with us! 🙂

    • Kenz

      Oh my gosh YES! BABIES! NEXT YEAR!!!

  • Bethany Kline

    YAY!! I’m so glad we were able to meet up for B’fast on Sunday! you and your Mommy are both awesome! I wish we could’ve had more time! and thanks for the shoutout girl! You rock so hard! <3 You!

    Also I LOVE the new logo! Very cool!

    • Kenz

      You seriously are so great. I had SO much fun. I’m so happy we were able to make it work. Love ya!

  • indiapiedaterre

    Oh my goodness you have a lot going on between your pregnancy and your house. I so wish we’d met! Your post about your pilot’s license was linked in the “you might also like” links. My husband has a pilot’s license – he has a Piper Arrow but we haven’t flown much lately (it’s leased back to a flight school). I also LOVE LOVE LOVE being up in the air! We fly out of 3CK Lake in the Hills in northern Illinois. You might like my aviation Pinterest board:
    I wish you all the best with the rest of your pregnancy and hope to meet you at another blogger conference! Deb

    • Kenz

      Hi Deb! AH! I so with I would have met you!!! I LOVE aviation 🙂 that’s so great that you guys have an Arrow! I’m not going to lie, I’m completely jealous. Aaron and I are always talking about how we can making owning a plane happen. It probably won’t be for the next 10 or 15 years. But we can dream, right? I LOVE your aviation board. It’s a good one! What’s the link to your blog? I’d love to follow

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  • At first I thought the title was “the best POST about Haven…” and I thought that was a little presumptuous of you ;). Glad you were able to have fun at least part of the time!

    • Kenz

      hahahahaha after all the people I met at Haven, the LAST thing I would do is say my post is the best. haha. Those were some pretty amazing ladies.

  • Katie

    Awe I’m so glad you were able to still attend Haven. I don’t think we ever got to meet, but I saw you walking around and we were at the Flying Biscuit the same day as you were! 🙂

    • Kenz

      Oh I’m sad we never got a chance to meet! What’s the link to your blog?! I’d love to check it out 🙂

  • Dianne @ Winnow and Spruce

    Really enjoyed your post, and I look forward to meeting you, next year if not before. I love your blog and will be back often.. promise! 🙂

    • Kenz

      Thanks Dianne! Leave me your URL so I can visit 🙂


    Hi Meckenzie – You ARE a star 🙂
    & are very happy to hear you made it to the Haven Conference
    this year & loved sponsoring the event to better connect with attendees
    such as yourself. Be sure to take a look at all the photos from the event on
    Facebook, tag yourself & share with family/friends!
    Hope to chat with you soon!

    • Kenz

      Thanks! It was great to network with y’all 🙂