HAVEN 2013 {what I learned}

What is Haven you might be asking…

Haven is a 3 day blogging conference held in Atlanta, Georgia.  I bought my ticket to Haven 2013 the same month that I started my blog.  I was so nervous.  The thought of meeting bloggers that really know their stuff was a bit intimidating.  Let me tell you, my fears were erased quickly!

I meet so many wonderful, real, smiling faces!

Haven meet and greet

( Cindy, Dwellings-The heart of your home~ Christy, Our Southern Home~ Beth, Farm Fresh Vintage Finds~ Tricia, Simplicity in the South~ KariAnne, Thistlewood Farms~ Sarah, Thrifty Decor Chick~ Chris, Just a Girl)

And I learned so much!

I painted with Miss Mustard See Milk Paint, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, tried out some Ryobi Tools, and learned a thing or 12 about better blogging.


But more than all of that, I learned I am not alone in this blogging world.  The women (and a few men) behind these blogs are just like me.  They are real.  They have confidence and insecurities…success and failures…experience yet still learning.  They have hearts that are bigger than you will ever know.  They are giving to each other, to me, and the communities they live in.

They are now my friends…my real life friends.

As hard as it was to step outside my comfort zone and say

“Hey, I’m Sonya from At Home with The Barkers,” I am so glad I did!

Haven Mavens

(Traci, Beneath my Heart~ Beth, Home Stories A to Z)

Haven with Beckie

(Beckie, Infarrantly Creative)

I could post pictures for miles, I seriously meet so many wonderful people!  You can see lots more of those pics if you follow me on Instagram.

I would like to send A HUGE thank you to the Haven Team for the fabulous conference…from the atmosphere to the swag bags, to great vendors and sponsors! You all did agreat job!

Also, thank you Traci, Beneath my Heart and Cyndi, Walking in Grace & Beauty for devotion and prayer time.

I can’t wait for Haven 2014! Now Go and DO GOOD ON A GRAND SCALE!



  1. Haven was a lot of fun, tiring but fun. I just peaked at your blog and it is so cute! I will head back over to follow and look around.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, I really appreciate it. ~Sonya

  2. Haven looks like so much fun! I’d love to go to a blogging conference someday. I appreciate your honesty–I feel insecure as a new blogger too! I’m stopping by from Give Me The Goods Monday–have a great week!

  3. Thanks Kristin! It was so nice meeting you too. It was so much fun and I am happy to have so many new friends.

  4. Me too Cindy! I am so glad you commented…I couldn’t remember you blog! Now I have you linked up.
    It was so nice to meet you. ~Sonya

  5. Love your first picture of all of us, it was so nice to meet you! GREAT conference and I can’t wait for next year!

  6. Sonya, great recap and it was so nice meeting you. I didn’t know you were a newbie. Looking forward to next year’s conference.

  7. Sonya it was so good meeting you at Haven. Funny how it is never enough time for us! Hope to stay in touch!

  8. This was such a great post, Sonya! I love that we’re friends now, and I can look back fondly on all the times were were able to interact! So fun! Can’t wait for next year!

  9. It was nice to meet you at Haven and I wish it would have lasted longer so that I could have gotten to know you better. (I took the first picture on your post. :))

  10. Me too Erica! I tried to meet as many people as I could but hopefully next year we can get together. Bob Johnson’s closing was so great and inspiring. ~Sonya

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