What a wonderful weekend! We all had a great time and laughed until we cried. We ate together, shopped together, prayed together and we even slept together.
So let me start at the beginning. The trip to Pigeon Forge was 4 hours give or take. We chatted, laughed, just played catch up on our daily lives. When we checked into our Hotel, we were treated with a surprise, Gretchen (our coordinator extraordinaire) had a treat waiting on our beds! What girl doesn't love a bag of goodies, roses, and she even included a very informative booklet on breast cancer awareness!!!We had a devotional on "Having a Mary heart in a Martha world", Gretchen did a magnificent job on this subject. She also had a Guinea Pig~ aka~ Sherri (my SIL) hoola-hoop. Sherri started with one hoop and would add another, each time trying to balance them all. Gretchen spoke on our "balancing act" in our lives, how we like Mary must prioritize our lives so that we choose the good things in life. We sang hymns and prayed. At the end of the evening we drew names for secret sister, whom we would choose a gift for and the reveal would be the last night of the Retreat. Then as only females would understand, we head out for donuts. Did I tell ya the time, yes it was 11:00 pm!!! Needless to say we were a sight for sore eyes in a church van 12 women pulling into Krispy Kreme to buy a dozen donuts each. lol The Manager must have been trying to get rid of us or either he felt sorry for us, he gave the last customer "one of our very own" two dozen free donuts. Did I mention we each bought a dozen, well most of us bought a dozen. So need I say more about the sugar buzz we all had!!!
Saturday morning began with Continental Breakfast!! Yum and Krispy Kreme donuts for dessert. lol Next on our agenda was " Tanger Outlet", to do some serious shopping. If you haven't been shopping with 12 ladies you really should try it. It was a blast to say the least. We shopped till we dropped and then we had lunch and refueled for more shopping. Some of our crew decided to go on to the van and wait. I must say we had some very interesting conversations in that Van. In regards to sleeping attire and undergarments (does anyone use that word anymore). Late afternoon we head back to the hotel to freshen-up for dinner and more shopping later that evening. We stopped at "Christmas Place" yours truly, trying desperately to carry less, decided not to take my purse. I carried my debit card, cash and was so proud of myself, until I stood in line for 30 minutes and was ready to check out only to realize I had no ID for my debit card. Sherri (SIL) to the rescue!!!! So we had a few laughs over being carded to buy Christmas ornaments....lol We decided to split up for dinner. Our group ate at Bubba Gump's Shrimp. Pretty cool place, lots of memorabilia from the movie "Forrest Gump" and the food was delicious, even though we sat near the bar, and we saw a young man celebrate his birthday by dancing on his table. We were ROFL.....Back at the Hotel we had a devo on "Friendship" and what it meant to each of us. We wrote the definition (our version) on a card and read them out loud. Then we started our gift exchange. It was fun to see who's name we drew and what we had decided to buy to show our friendship to them. Much love went into the choices and everyone was so pleased by each others thoughtfulness. We all had a prayer and back to our rooms for bed.
The next morning was breakfast and getting ready for Church Service at a local congregation. We learn that during the night 3 of our ladies had left early for home. A phone call was made to their room at 2:00 am and Pam's (DIL) who was back home waiting the birth of her child had gone into labor so they left to make it back in time for the birth. They made it to the hospital safely at 7:00 am and Sara Nicole was born at 11:11 am (Tish and baby are doing great). After our Church Service we head out for home.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be with my Sisters-In-Christ, to have spent time with them. We are so lucky to have each other and I feel so blessed to have this special family to share my joy with. I hope you enjoy the pictures and laugh as we did!!!!