Guys, I just wrote this entire post within the Blogstomp program on my computer and then accidentally closed it and lost everything. That had never happened before today and of course it would happen with a fun blog post like this one!! I really need to get into the habit of writing my posts in a Word document!! GAH! Anyway… I think I had originally started off by saying that earlier this week, I wrote a much more serious post about my time at Pursuit. I walked onto Winshape grounds carrying a huge burden and uncertainty about my future. My thoughts were confirmed at Pursuit and there were quite a few “heavy” moments throughout the conference’s four days. But that’s not what this post is about! This post is a happy one and a FUN little recap of my time at Winshape for the “final” Pursuit Conference!

Being a full-time creative has had many affects on my life, one of them being that I don’t see my high school and college friends as often as I used to. It makes me sad to miss out on so much that happens on the weekends, but one of the most beautiful things about this industry is its COMMUNITY. You would think that as “competitors” we wouldn’t want anything to do with each other… or wouldn’t have one another’s best interests in mind. But my time at Pursuit proved otherwise. I came to this conference knowing that it would be a great place to be the month before I would be getting married. (I signed up for this LAST MAY!) I figured, being around other married women who are also full-time small business owners would be an incredible opportunity to glean some wisdom before this major life transition and I was right. We stayed up past midnight all three nights of the conference talking marriage, work, life, and just being silly! It was so much fun and I wish I could have talks like that more often!!

Pursuit consisted of many things… great speakers, beautiful times of praise and worship, lots of prayer, and tons and tons of gifts and surprises. It also consisted of ice cream, popcorn, Chickfila for lunch and endless pitchers of sweet tea. Breathtaking sunsets and a sky full of blazing stars every night. But my favorite part of Pursuit was the women I got to spend time with. It hasn’t been easy for me going through this season of being engaged and getting ready for marriage without my mom. When she first got sick, I remembered being most sad thinking about the times in the future she wouldn’t be around for… my high school graduation, my wedding, and my first child. This is one of those seasons where I know I’m going to have a harder time getting through than others. I don’t think these women know just how much it meant to me to have their open ears and open hearts during my time at Pursuit. Their wisdom and friendship has truly been so life-giving to me and for that I’ll forever be thankful.

There are many things that are hard about being a full-time creative small business owner and I’m sure the majority of us have a serious love-hate relationship with our jobs. But I know one thing we’d probably all agree on is that these friendships and this community is one aspect of this career that we wouldn’t trade the world for. To everyone who made my first Pursuit conference an unforgettable one, thank you. Thank you for genuinely wanting me to feel included, loved, and cared for. I’ll never forget this experience and it’s one I’ll treasure for a lifetime.

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Yes, Winshape is that gorgeous… this is the view from the parking lot!!! It’s beautiful from the moment you arrive!

Is it just me or does this kinda look like it has a bit of a Bavarian influence?! The entire grounds reminded me so much of Germany!!!

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A little photo shoot because why not?!

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Conference time!!!

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And now for the iPhone pictures! SO many goodies and gifts!!! I still haven’t unpacked all of it!

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Thankful for my sweet friend and roommate Meredith! She makes traveling so fun!

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This panoramic shot still doesn’t do it justice… though it is really pretty!!

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We took a little walk back in the woods and came across this old mill!

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Thanks Amanda Hedgepeth for the photo!! Love these sweet people!

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I snuck ONE picture during Jon Acuff’s talk because he was just that good. Seriously, what an incredible speaker!!

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Our dinner at twilight… so pretty and so much fun.

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And a KJ Brides picture because I still can’t believe I get to be a part of this community of amazing women!!

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My sweet wedding photographer… where would I be without her?! Love you Katelyn!!!

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I wish I could have dinner tonight with all of these people one more time! What an incredible group of talented, intelligent and driven people. I’m so inspired by each of them!! Thank you all for your friendship!!! (And thank you Amanda for this photo as well!)

Until next time, Winshape…

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