The Road and The Journey: Spring Visioning Retreat!

Life with Joel & Amber

Feb 21, 2017

About a week ago, Joel and I realized that we needed some serious time to put our blinders up to all of the demands we have on our time and attention right now and regroup ourselves. It’s easy to start losing sight of the big picture when the details are threatening to take over – so we decided it was time to get back to our hearts and more clearly define this thing that we’re doing.

Multiple weeks of traveling different directions for both of us (Sweden, Alaska, Orlando, and places in between!), conferences, extra days of filling in at the Chocolate Crocodile and the dental office to help them out at a time they really needed it, and a dozen other things….

It’s been crazy. :)

We’ve been experiencing huge growth in our business over the last few months, both internally and externally, and it’s been an incredible experience. But as with all growth, it comes with growing pains. Figuring out where it is we actually want to go, how to get there, and what is most important to us. There is so much learning and faith that goes into growing your business and experience in the right direction.

So a week ago, we knew something had to happen to give us space to step back, breathe, and gather our vision before we got back to the hustle and grind.

We spent a couple hours on AirBnB trying to decide where we wanted to go! Giving two wanderlusters the task of choosing a spot to “escape” for the weekend? It takes a little while to narrow it down! ;) Our last visioning retreat was in Mentone AL and was one of our favorite ones to date. But…they don’t have a great coffee shop close by. In the end, we decided to follow both the coffee and our love of the mountains!

So Townsend, TN became our destination. The Artistic Bean coffee shop in Townsend is one we fell in love with two years ago on a family getaway there, plus Townsend is quiet, beautiful, and has more than enough mountains to keep our hearts happy.

Joel flew in from Orlando on Friday, I finished up a really busy week of helping out two of my former employers, and we packed a few essentials and headed off to find our mountains!

We had four official visioning sessions over the weekend (3 on Saturday and 1 on Monday), but some of the best time is always when we’re hiking in the mountains or exploring one of the scenic drives. That’s when we get to just throw out ideas and dreams and follow where they go! So between our multiple cups of coffee, handmade apple turnovers from a local legend, and wanderings in the foothills, we had the opportunity to re-focus ourselves on what we’re doing and why we’re doing what we are. We got to re-focus ourselves on what fits our Joel and Amber Experience and how we can serve intentionally with impact.

We want everything we do – and every part of the experience we create for our couples, their families, and even the other vendors they chose – to be one that makes their lives richer in a meaningful way. We want every email we send out, every response we give, every blog we write, every social media post, and every picture we take to be coming straight from our hearts. That’s the best way to be able to serve. To believe in something deeply and to have a clear idea of why you’re doing it in the first place.

The Artistic Bean was just perfect to spend hours talking, hashing out, and diving into our business. The baristas and the owner made us feel right at home (and after the third latte, we were on a first name basis…haha!) and spent some time talking to us about their manual espresso machine and their roasting process. We brought a pound of freshly roasted beans home and are already wishing we had grabbed a second!

The most fascinating latte we ventured to try over the weekend was their Mountain Man – it’s like cinnamon-tinted coffee with creme brulee on top…all with a healthy grating of chocolate! It was different from our normal brews, but we thought it was a pretty fabulous coffee adventure. :)

As we go into the last few weeks of our business building time before spring wedding season starts, we’re so excited to be moving forward with a clear idea of this place God has for us in His world. We believe that He’s put us right where we are for a reason, and we think it’s a pretty fabulous place! We’re thankful. :)

Here’s to 2017, sweet friends!



  1. Shelton says:

    Pics, descriptions were incredible. As I sit her drinking my Folgers, I almost have a desire to drive to the coffee shop! Ha!

  2. Patti says:

    Wonderful! Brings back good memories of our time there together as a family. God bless you in your business.

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