Day One wouldn’t have been complete without a cozy family style dinner to externally process what we’ve learned, share our big dreams and gush over how unbelievable the view was! Our retreat photographer, Shalyn Nelson, snapped these images at the pool right before dinner. All the heart eyes, y’all! All the heart eyes.
Our Day One dinner was served family style around intimate round tables to encourage deeper conversation and community building. For as much as I adored our styled welcome dinner the night before, I loved how rustic, laid back and personal this time together was. At our table, we went around and shared our biggest, scariest dreams and chatted about what we thought was holding us back. I so loved getting to connect with the attendees at my table, and my fellow speakers!
But our night wasn’t over, yet! I’d planned a surprise campfire session back in this gorgeous courtyard under the Texas stars for us to snuggle up and bare our hearts. Loot Vintage partnered up with us to provide all the incredible rustic chic rentals for one luxe lounge! And one of our incredible attendees, Sarah of Ara Collective (you may remember her brand reveal here on the blog earlier this year!), generously provided a blush throw for each attendee and speaker to take home. I may or may not be snuggled up in mine as I type this!
We cozied up with s’mores, because chocolate makes everything better, and chatted about what was on our hearts. We shared our biggest pain points, our most powerful takeaway from Day One, and sat together as we laughed, cried and laid down our walls. In a professional retreat like this, it can be all too easy to walk in and act like we have it all together. After all, this is a room full of strangers, and why should we let them see our struggles? Words can’t describe how proud I was of every woman here who chose to admit that life is hard, that she didn’t have all the answers, and that she needed love, encouragement and support. We came together to admit that we’re stronger as a team than we ever could be on our own, and that life is better, richer and more full when we choose to walk it hand-in-hand. The honesty, bravery and camaraderie that took place around this little campfire was nothing short of incredible, friends. I believe it was in these moments that we really got to know one another, the real person who seeks joy and fulfillment in the midst of challenges and uncertainty. When we open our hearts to being real, raw and vulnerable, it’s amazing what can take place.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing all the loveliness from Day Two, so be sure to check back then. We are so grateful for the sweet sponsors who made our campfire session possible! Huge thanks to Loot Vintage for our lounge, and Ara Collective for the gorgeous blush throws!
The news is out, y’all! Our Spring retreat dates have been announced, and registration opens up on Friday at 9am CST! We’re making some big changes, including an additional day for added rest and relaxation, even more hands-on components, and all sorts of thoughtful surprises you’re sure to love. For full details, speaker lineup and registration information, visit the illume retreat website!