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10.21.2014

THE RENEW RETREAT.

I just spent a beautiful weekend in the magical Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with a bunch a women I had never met in real life. Ha! It was so wonderful getting to finally meet friends who I had only ever known via blogs and email.

It was refreshing to sit on the spacious porch, rock in a rocking chair, spend time in the Word, share stories with new friends, and gaze out at the mountains. The trees are just starting to turn, some more than others. I especially love when the leaves have completely changed and the world is on fire with brilliants reds and oranges and yellows, but this part of the season has it's own beauty as some trees change and others hold on tightly to their green foliage. It creates a great contrast of colors. The change is more apparent as you drive through the national forest under the canopy of the trees. I highly suggest taking a trip to see it. :)

We had such a great time hanging out at the cabin, getting to know each other, eating delicious food, shopping in Gatlinburg, and taking a million pictures. You can send emails, like instagram photos, and leave comments, but nothing beats spending time together in person. The stories of you and me come alive when we sit down to have real conversations. I loved getting to hear parts of stories I'd never heard before and sharing struggles and hopes and dreams with one another. That is where true friendship begins.

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, Gatlinburg, Hiking




















Autumn, Leaves, Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg


I'm so thankful to have met the people I know through blogging, and I love that I've been given opportunities to meet those brave hearts in real life as well. Can't wait for more get togethers in the future! Stay tuned for more goodness about our weekend in the mountains! XOXO.

45 comments:

Elizabeth Than said...

So gorgeous! And it's so cool that you managed to meet up with other bloggers, something which I am shyly afraid of.

Sarah Potts said...

Gorgeous photos! Looks like you girls had so much fun :)

Lisa Watkins said...

Beautiful pics! I'm thinking I might have to bring an actual camera (that's not my iPhone) next time to truly do justice to the surroundings. You're right--meeting everyone in person and getting to actually talk face to face with all these fellow bloggers we've been following makes such a difference. So glad we got to meet!

Rachel Walker said...

Oh my goodness! The colors of the leaves are just breathtaking! What an incredible place...I'm so glad y'all got to spend time together! Next time, I'm going to be there!!!

Madison said...

These are gorgeous photos!! I can't wait to see the ones you took of everyone during our little photo session :) I love your eye for all the little details and the photos of the church are beautiful!

Amy said...

girl your wording lately has been on point! this right here:
"You can send emails, like instagram photos, and leave comments, but nothing beats spending time together in person. The stories of you and me come alive when we sit down to have real conversations. I loved getting to hear parts of stories I'd never heard before and sharing struggles and hopes and dreams with one another. That is where true friendship begin"
YES! so. so. so. true.
i am also OBSESSED with all of your sun flares in the pictures! so beautiful!
& your detail shots...love.
you've captured the weekend perfectly!

Victoria said...

That cabin is PERFECT!!!! :)

Blogging is so much fun, but the friendships that have come out of it really caught me by surprise!

Yay!!! For a whole weekend to spend together. I'm hoping many more happen for you all!

Megan Sybrant said...

Beautiful photos meg!

meg - me with the three said...

Great photos friend!!! Can't wait to see the rest!

Lauren Flowers said...

These photos are so breathtaking! I cant wait to read more!!

xoxo

Lauren

http://www.sincerelyloblog.com/

Amy Hodgdon said...

SO beautiful! These photos are amazing! Looks like the ideal location for a getaway like this! :)

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

So lovely! The trees go all the way to the top of those mountains... so weird!

Gina Alyse said...

I loved seeing and hearing about people's experiences on this retreat! What a beautiful and fun time! Especially in the GORGEOUS Tennessee mountains. I love seeing a group of awesome bloggers coming together. So glad you had a great time!

Samantha@Elah Tree said...

This is so lovely! "I want to go to there!" You pictures look so great Meg!

Allison Renner said...

Gorgeous pictures friend!!! Meeting up with lovely bloggers in the mountains of TN sounds absolutely perfect!

Jenna Griffin said...

I love all of the beautiful photos of nature you took. I barely took any! Yikes. It was so good to meet you again! I love that we are turning in to not just blog friends anymore but real-life friends, too. Love yaaaaa!

Kiki said...

Beautiful photos! I am in love with how quiet and relaxing the area looks (that cabin is in an amazing location!) and am once again jealous that you got to meet more bloggers. Maybe the next meet-up could take place on the West Coast? :)

Bailey said...

It was so great to meet you Meg!!

Rachel said...

I love how incredible of a weekend this sounds! It's so true there is nothing like being able to talk face to face person to person and the stories, hopes and dreams come alive! Beautiful photos!

Meagan said...

Love your photos! I was there two weeks ago - isn't the change in seasons absolutely gorgeous in the mountains?!

Chantel -A Harvest of Blessing said...

SO gorgeous! It looks amazing!

Amanda | Life With Grace said...

These pictures are amazing!! I cant get over how beautiful the scenery was for y'alls weekend! What a huge blessing to spend a weekend with some amazing women!

Meg McIlvaine said...

It was so very beautiful! The scenery and the community!

Meg McIlvaine said...

We had so much fun!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Yes! It is my favorite :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Yes! Exactly. :) Can't wait for the next get together.

Meg McIlvaine said...

You too, Bailey! :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

We talked about you, Kiki, and the gorgeous coast of Oregon! We need to make that happen!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Jenna!! Yes! Real life friends, for real. I love it and you! :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

It was so special! Maybe you can make it to the next one? :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Thanks Sam! We'll go to the mountains next time you are in Tennessee :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Thanks girl! It was such a great weekend!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Haha! Yep. Very different from the Rockies!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Thanks friend! It was a gorgeous weekend!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Eeep! Still working on my other photos, but soon!

Meg McIlvaine said...

I'm hoping to get all the photos done this weekend! Yay. :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Thanks friend!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Yes! Love the friendships that have come out of this little space :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Well thanks, friend!
So. Many. Sun. Flares. I just love 'em.

Meg McIlvaine said...

Oh thank you, Madison! I'm hoping to post more next week!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Yes! Come with us next time!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Great to meet you, Lisa! So glad you and Carrie were able to come!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Thank ya! We totally did!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Girl! You should do it! Maybe start with some Google Hangout/Skype sessions! I've made so many great friends through this space :) You can too!

Kiki said...

We do! You should ALL come out and visit me. :)