My super sweet Blog Sugar ladies, all of which I have known since high school
[Photo booth by the spectacular Melissa Munding]
One week ago I attended Blog Sugar. An ultra fabulous event conceived by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Rachel. Blog Sugar is responsible for my little piece of crazy on the interwebs. The first one was in Rachel’s living room. I showed up, blogless and left excited and encouraged. That night I went home and decided on Crazy is my Superpower. It would be months before I was brave enough to click the publish button for the first time. It really was the stories, smiles and sweet authenticity of the ladies I met that night that inspired me to take the leap.
I had only written a few posts before the 2nd Blog Sugar rolled around. This time it had graduated to Rachel’s back yard. The crowd grew from 25 to over 60. It was luau-riffic and quite impressive!! I stuffed my face with brownies, met new friends and caught up with old ones. Our nametags included our blog names – I was mid conversation with someone when she read my nametag and said, “OMG, I read your blog and I love it – you are so brave”. It was a pretty amazing feeling. It also caught me off guard – I never thought of myself as brave. I still don’t. Honest? Yes. Brave? Debatable. The night was really magical – it made me realize that authentic storytelling can be quite powerful.
I signed up for this year’s Blog Sugar back in March and September seemed like it was a million years away. Not surprisingly it snuck up on me…the week before the event I was not sure what to make of the whole thing – I have not written in months and am smack in the middle dealing with very stressful circumstances right now – I am tired and I feel detached from the real world, let alone the blog world. The morning of, I woke up and decided that I was just going to go and have fun. No pressure, just be open to what the day would bring. I walked in to a beautifully decorated venue (we have out grown the back yard). The energy was bursting through every pink stripe and orange polka dot! AND there was cotton candy (oh how I love thee)! Rachel’s vision has grown to something bigger than she could have ever imagined (I can say this, because we have discussed it at length). She molded it and shaped it to be a faith centered experience that would impact people on a whole new level. And it did just that. I had the pleasure of hearing 4 speakers in the break-out sessions that I choose: Nish of The Outdoor Wife, Sarah of The Best Days of My Life and Julie of Joy’s Hope with Jeannett of Life Rearranged.
I learned so much from these incredible ladies. Nish engaged us in a conversation about how to write about difficult subject matter with grace and compassion. Sarah shared her incredible story and how she learned the importance of staying true to your voice and creating a community. Julie and Jeannette encouraged us to think bigger than ourselves and use our tiny spot in the digital world to make a difference in the lives of others. And the keynote speaker was Meg of whatever. She humbly shared her experience of discovering that her blog was not about her, but rather a tool that would be used to make a real difference in the lives of others.
I also have to give a shout out to Andrea of Four Flights of Fancy and JJ of Blah Blah Blahger who added some extra sass as they helped Rachel make the magic happen!! As hoped, I walked away excited and encouraged. The stories, smiles and sweet authenticity of the ladies I met once again left me inspired. Who knows what that looks like for my crazy corner of the interwebs…we’ll just have to wait and see.
How about you? What has inspired you lately?