OK~ There's something to be said about a Farewell Tour when it comes to the North Iowa Bloggers. I look at where our little group has been over the past 18 months and just say, "Wow!" We've experienced a lot of amazing things together and, in my opinion, shown others how important it is to support local businesses. Our group is now 20+ strong, and a few months ago, we looked like this.
I really do wish people would hang around a little longer in North Iowa. But, I also understand that folks have to go where the jobs are, and what is best for their families. We do live in a mobile society and it was through a tweet that I met Jennifer Flaa of JeniEats. She was moving to North Iowa and on the hunt for a house. I introduced myself and directed her towards some realtors in North Iowa. We North Iowan's can be grateful that Jennifer took it upon herself to connect with the North Iowa Bloggers. This gave her an avenue to grow her blog and offered a fantastic opportunity to write about her experiences in North Iowa.
It was about the time that I connected with Jennifer on Twitter that I stumbled upon Beth Ann Chiles' blog It's Just Life. Beth Ann had lived in Mason City for a few years, but our paths had never crossed. Well, once we found each other, we quickly connected and it's all a great story of friendship and blogging from here on out. We traveled on a flight to nowhere and Beth Ann spoke at the North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club and invited everyone to be "The Ripple" in North Iowa. Take note: People listened to her and are making ripples in North Iowa because of what she challenged folks to do.
We had a little blogger get together at The Landing in Clear Lake for these two awesome ladies, and of course cruised the Lady of the Lake after our meal! If you search the official Hashtag #FarewellTour2015, you will see a lot of activity is happening with these two bloggers moving.
Jennifer and Beth Ann are both moving out of North Iowa and I can honestly say that they have blessed my life in ways I never imagined. I will miss seeing them in real life, but I also know they are only a Tweet away! Jennifer will be sharing the stage with Donna Hup and I at Bloggy Conference in Ohio, come September. We will be sharing how local has impacted North Iowa and why a local blogging group is not only important for bloggers,but also for communities. Due to the fact that Jennifer was not afraid to connect with new people on Twitter, her blog has grown by leaps and bounds. She is no longer an official North Iowa Blogger, but due to her willingness to dig in her heels, she helped launch the North Iowa Bloggers into the spotlight, which we are all grateful for. And of course, Beth Ann is attending and will be our biggest cheerleader in the audience! We'd love to see all bloggers attend, as we know our story will inspire other communities to embrace bloggers, just as ours has.
Social media will keep us connected and I will be religiously reading their blog posts. Let's face it, who can stand to miss a Tea Pot Tuesday from Beth Ann, right? Jennifer is always trying new foods and with a gazillion grocery stores and restaurants around her new home in St. Louis, I can only imagine the mouth watering foods that she will be serving up.
Thank you to Beth Ann and Jennifer for being a part of my life! I have a feeling we may actually see each other quite a bit over the next year, as social media and blogging keep us all connected. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?