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May 11, 2016

Connect Retreat 2016

Two years ago, Ben and I attended the Connect Retreat that some of my favorite photographers were hosting.  I remembered seeing posts of Zach & Jody and Michael & Katelyn at Winshape and knew they were up to something fun but didn’t quite know what until they told everyone about the retreat for married couples who are in business together!  We signed up, we went, and we loved it.  You can read all about Connect 2014 HERE.

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We weren’t able to go last year because Catherine was only a few months old, but we still loved seeing posts and updates of everything going on at Connect!  So, as soon as registration opened for this year, we signed up as quickly as we could.

One of the reasons I love photographing weddings is because it’s the beginning of an adventure with two best friends.  When a man and woman become one, God can use them in ways that just weren’t possible before their marriage.  But the hard work comes after you say I do.  There will be times in marriage when it’s easy and everything is going as you’d hope!  But most of the time, it’s a choice to be intentional with your time together, your words towards each other, and the decisions you make together.

And this year’s retreat showed us that we still have a lot of work to do.  But we’re ok with it because we BOTH want those same things.  And we want to keep growing, leaning into the Lord, and getting stronger together.

How fun were the shirts this year?  The red ones (for the women) say “You think I am SUPER you should meet my Superman” and the blue ones (for the guys) say “You think I am WONDERFUL you should meet my Wonderwoman”.

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Something else we did this year that was a little different was to book a session with Katelyn James for anniversary photos.  Obviously we’re 6 months away from our anniversary, but ANY time is a good time for photos of just the two of us.  So we got behind her camera and let me just say that it was magical!  You can see her post HERE :-)

On Tuesday, we have an experiential activity that the Winshape Teams staff puts on for us.  All the activities promote communication and fun.  And competition :-)

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And blindfolds.

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This game was hilarious.  One partner was blindfolded and went into the center of the circle but could not move except when told just what to do by their partner on the outside of the circle.  But the objective was for the blindfolded person to throw balls at the other blindfolded people to get them out of the game.  Hysterical chaos would be the best way to describe it!

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We did this one a couple years ago and it was just as fun this time around too!  Each person had to hold onto one end of a rope that was attached above by a pulley.  Then you had to walk toward each other on a cable, without falling, and kiss in the middle.

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Wednesday night was our date night and everyone ate together at a long table above the lake.  It was beautiful!  And since everyone was dressed up, lots of photo swaps were happening.  It was really fun to see couples all over the property getting photos of themselves together.

Matt and Dana found out they were coming about a week before the retreat and I was so excited because I’d only just met her at the Pursuit Conference (she was my roommate!) a month before and heard all about her husband and their son.  So now our husbands were able to meet and Dana and I got to catch up again!  We asked them if anyone was taking their photos on Wednesday after dinner and they said no and that they actually couldn’t remember the last time they’d had photos taken just the two of them!  So, we had a photo date after date night and it was so fun!

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Only a handful of shots in, we were minutes away form a huge storm coming.  So we shot like crazy before running inside!

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And Dana took a photo of us since, after all, we did get dressed up for dinner :-)

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We had worship every night, but this last night was something extra special.
God moved in lots of lives last week and we are so thankful we were able to be a part of it!

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And last but not least, this was our small group for the week!  Many of us were strangers going into the week, but when people are open and willing to be vulnerable with each other, that’s when God can do the most in us.
Also, way to coordinate colors for this photo, guys.  Y’all are awesome :-)

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