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Delight East Coast 2014


Wow. Where does one even begin? If I tried to sit here and write about everything that happened at the Delight and Be retreat last week, I would literally be here for hours, and I would absolutely for sure burst into tears numerous times just remembering everything. So I guess I’ll just try to start from the beginning!!

Way back in December, I got a Facebook notification: “Meredith Sledge has invited you to DELIGHT!” When I first saw that, I was like “what on earth is this??”, but I decided to join this elusive Facebook group ;) A few of my other blogger friends had posted about Delight retreats, but I never really understood what it was all about. I decided to jump headfirst into this ‘Delight Thing’, and I can honestly say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. What I found in that Facebook group was an astounding support group of young women who are pursuing the creative arts and loving the Lord with all their hearts. These girls… Oh my word. I cannot even tell you how much they mean to me. I am never afraid to post an encouragement, or something I’m struggling with. In a matter of seconds, I will have a flood of notifications from these lovely ladies offering their love and support! I had no idea what an incredible blessing these girls were going to become to me. I learn so much from all of them! We talk about everything… Music, photography, art, our relationships with the Lord, and so much more. A few weeks after I joined the group, I heard about the first ever East Coast Delight retreat that was happening in April, and I thought it was going to be such an incredible opportunity for the girls that went! But I really didn’t think I’d be going. But here I am, writing this post ;) When I first signed up for the retreat back in February, I honestly wasn’t exactly sure why I was going, and I almost didn’t go. I told my parents I was going to go for it, and then the next day I told them that I changed my mind. And then the next day I told them that I had re-changed my mind and was going!! I just had this feeling that if I didn’t go, I’d always regret it. And I was so right! The retreat was going to be in Charlottesville, VA, which is only about 45 minutes away from where I live!! It was actually one of the biggest reasons I decided to go. I hadn’t been a part of Delight for very long, and I was thinking “for sure this is for girls who are really a part of Delight… Maybe I don’t post enough in the group, maybe it would be awkward, maybe nobody would like me, maybe maybe maybe…” ;) But I decided to take the plunge and purchase that retreat seat!! It was to be held on April 3-7, which I was super excited about, because it was going to be just a few days after my birthday! I knew it was going to be a great birthday week, but I had no idea just how amazing it would be.

There was another Facebook group that was created once everyone signed up for the remaining seats at the retreat. In the 1-2 months that followed, I got to know the other 21 girls that were going to be there. I became close friends with a couple of the girls, and I was just getting so insanely excited!! I couldn’t believe I was actually going!! We posted videos of our excited faces, shared prayer requests, and basically just couldn’t contain our excitement :) {yes, excitement was the prevailing emotion leading up to the retreat ;)} It was so amazing to be able to ‘meet’ and connect with these ladies before the retreat.

I rode with Meredith to the retreat, and as we drove up to the 200-year old farm house, I felt a strange mix of excitement and nerves! All those old fears were coming back… What if I forget someone’s name? What if no one likes me? What if this is not the retreat for me? But as soon as I stepped putt of the car, all those fears went away. Grace was the first one to burst out of the group of girls that were greeting us on the front lawn to give me a big hug. And after that it was a huge blur of so many hugs!! I met all of my girls that I felt like I had known for months!! It is SO different meeting people in person, than meeting them online! Which, I know sounds obvious, but I had only known these girls from a Facebook group! When you think about the fact that 22 girls who had never met each other {for the most part} gathered together in an extremely old farm house 15 minutes away from town, it sounds kind of sketchy ;) Good thing we’re all nice, normal people ;) Haha!

So the first few hours was just meeting all the other girls, and also just kind of reveling in the fact that we are here. For so long, we had all been anticipating this moment, and it was finally here! I honestly am not able to explain everything that happened at this retreat. A lot of it is just tiny little personal things, that meant so much to me. We spent hours praying with each other, lifting each other up, fighting off fears in each others behalf, crying tears of joy and freedom, and laughing so hard our stomachs hurt. We ate Emmy G’s incredibly fancy food, got sunburnt on the porch while we talked for hours in the beautiful sunny weather {ok, I got sunburnt ;) Shara and I were the only fair-skinned easily-burnt-people there ;)}. We got into small groups and worked on creative projects, and went for long walks. We swung in the hammock, and took a bazillion pictures. I did not want to leave that beautiful old home, and even now writing this I’m just about in tears remembering all the wonderful things that happened in that home!

I will forever have a connection with these girls. I still love all of the Delight girls, but these 21 have a special place in my heart. There’s just something about staying up crying and praying until 5am with like-minded souls that bonds you. I can’t even being to express my gratitude to the leaders, and my love for everyone that was at the retreat. Erin, Sarah, Ivy, Shara, Meredith, Jordan, Megan B., Valerie, Courtney, Emily N., Megan M., Angie, AnnMarie, Jackie, Grace, Anna, Kristina, Christine, Hannah, Emma, and Emmy G: I love you all so much!

I have so many pictures to share, and I apologize in advance for slowing down your servers ;)

We pulled up to this house, and I made 21 instant best friends…


Such a beautiful old barn! Except for the fire alarm going off every 27 seconds and the train that would come barreling around behind us every hour or two {and yes, it went all night too ;)}

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The girls who had gotten there a few days before us decorated the house absolutely gorgeously!!

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Late night conversations :)

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I absolutely loved waking up early to do my personal devotions!

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AnnMarie did a fantastic job leading worship!


The dining room was stunning! It was like walking into a fiesta every night ;)

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Courtney, you are gorgeous!!

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Seriously, this was not just any normal ‘retreat breakfast’, these were pretty much gourmet meals!

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I loved my small group!! This was when I got really sun burnt ;)

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We all got these adorable tumblers!

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Working on our creative project with our small group! The project was to create a backdrop that reflected ‘who God says we are’


Emmy G. made sure we always had snacks around the house, and those peanut butter pretzels were my favorite ;)


I love my Buttercup!! <3

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I love that you can see all the words we wrote!

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Beautiful place settings!!


Mornings at the retreat were definitely some of my favorite times… Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved hanging out with my wonderful new friends, but having my alone time with the Lord was super special to me :)

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Second day of getting sun burnt ;)

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Anna, you’re so adorable ;)


Sun tanning after morning session! So it’s no surprise I got really burnt ;)


Goldfish and Teddy Grahams!

Saturday afternoon, we had a fun time of shooting and learning from Emmy G.!

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Love these of you, Jackie!!

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This is what happens when 20+ photographers meet at a retreat ;)

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This tunnel was amazing for portraits!!

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ANNA!! I can’t even. You’re absolutely gorgeous!!

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I SO wish I could do that!!

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Christine, it is impossible to take a bad picture of you!!

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I have no idea who took this one… My camera got passed around quite a lot! Haha! But thank you to whoever did take it ;)

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Call me crazy, but I love shooting in full sun :)

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This retreat center had the best places for pictures!!

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I’m obsessed with Grace’s shoes!!

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Jordan Brittley was the videographer… I can’t wait to see the video!!

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Loved this impromptu balloon photoshoot with Courtney :)

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Learning from Jordan!


Saturday night we had our evening session by a bonfire, which was amazing!!


Angie cracked me up :)

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And Sunday was PARTY DAY!! We all wore our new Delight t-shirts, took group pictures, and then we took pictures in front of our backdrops! Then we were free to take pictures of everyone else for the rest of the day!

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Sunday morning was really cold, but I made myself stay outside anyway! Haha!

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After our morning session, we all got these little gift bags…

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I absolutely love this necklace!!

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Awkward selfie polaroids :)

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I had the best small group! :D

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Love this one!

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Me and the leaders!


Megan, I love this one of you!!

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I loved how their backdrop looked just like a beach! And Emily matched it perfectly ;)

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Love these, Grace!!

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Meredith, that black & white one is my favorite of you!! So classy and stunning <3

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Ohhhh this light… Makes me swoon :) So crazy to finally have met this sweet girl!! We’ve been blogging buddies for so long :)

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Ivy, you’re style is so amazing and classic! I’m so jealous of how you can pull off that headband ;)

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Anna and I did a photoshoot in the awesome bathroom… :)

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Worth it ;) #photographerproblems

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Christine, you are just such a model!!

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Well. Apparently handstands in the gravel wasn’t the best idea ;)

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Again, no idea who took these! Haha!

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Meredith, Hannah, and I tried to find a place to buy some ice cream for Megan M.’s birthday, but instead we found Shady’s Place… Haha!

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Non-fat organic frozen yogurt for Megan ;)

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Davene Grace - I had never heard of Delight retreats until you went on this one, but it’s been fun to hear (and see!) about it since! I’m so glad you got to have this amazing experience. :)

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