I’ve been struggling to find the words to write about the Big Summer Potluck 2. I kept thinking to myself, how can I possibly put into words the overwhelming warmth and tangible energy of the weekend? Even though I attended the one-day event last year and thought I knew what to expect, I was simply blown away by this weekend-long gathering with other bloggers. In the back of my mind, I didn’t think the sense of community and closeness from last year could be recreated. If anything, that feeling was multiplied this year.
The excitement started when I drove down on Thursday to arrive at my accommodations for the weekend, the home of the very gracious Amber of Bluebonnets and Brownies. I met up with Aimée of Simple Bites and Jeanne of Art of Gluten-Free Baking, and later Shaina of Food For My Family, all my roomies for the weekend at Amber’s. Hanging out with all of them was like having a weekend-long party, and I really enjoyed getting to know them more. Whether we were winding down after events or getting into our own shenanigans, our time together only augmented the joy I felt all weekend long.
At BSP this year, I feel like I found the inspiration I’ve been lacking for a little while now. Not to optimize my blog for SEO, or follow the perfect formula to increase traffic to my site, but to take more risks – as Penny talked about, to illustrate feeling in the photos I make. I love the way food brings people together, and that’s why I love to share my recipes and to help others learn how to bake and cook. And as Shauna discussed, getting “messy” and putting myself out there more. Using my writing as a chance to connect with people rather than to impress them. Because at the end of the day, a story about how I left a plastic storage container in the oven while preheating it and how my entire house reeked for days (yes, it happened) is much more real than simply the recipe for whatever it was I baked. That’s what I want. I want connection and community, both for me and for my readers.
I enjoyed every moment connecting with old friends from last year, many of whom I’ve kept in touch with regularly over the past year. And of course, I took every opportunity to make new friends, sharing our passion for food and photography. I am grateful for each and every person who had a hand in putting on this event, from the planning to the sponsoring to the lovely venue. I’m so glad to have been a part of it again this year!
For more photos of the Big Summer Potluck 2, check out the rest of my photos on Flickr here!