Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Are you in a pit?

I've been putting off writing this post because I know it will take awhile to write. However, I need to go ahead and do it so I don't forget all that I want to remember! I went on a "girl's weekend" this last weekend-something I never do-and I had a really good time. I was completely worn out by the time I got home though! *whew*

For awhile now, I've been hearing people talk about Beth Moore and what a wonderful Bible Study leader she is. I've heard it from my "in person" friends-you know, people I didn't meet through the Internet: my mom, Tracy, Erin, Jaime. I've also heard it from my "non-in person" friends-you know, people I have met online: Betty, Janice, Elizabeth. I've never really been in a position to participate in one of her studies but have always been interested in doing so.

Back around Christmas, my mom told me that her church was hosting a Beth Moore live "via satellite" women's event on a Saturday in February. I was really interested in attending and asked a couple of friends to go with me. Mom signed us all up and it was great! Earlier in the month, Mom had sent me her Beth Moore "Patriarchs" book that she had used with a study. I've only just begun reading it but am looking forward to getting more into it.
I am not the type of person who goes off on weekends all the time. I have been invited to go on some and I usually drag my feet and come up with excuses: it costs too much, we have plans, etc. This one worked though. I was nervous and anxious-I like being with my family-but I was also looking forward to it. Here's a synopsis:
*MB picked me up and we headed to the school to drop off some pies for the teacher's luncheon. Gracie had been sent home sick from school the day before so I couldn't send them with her!

*We went to pick up M.
*Off we went-talking a mile a minute! We had all brought some sort of snack and M had bought Starbucks for us all-yum! We didn't snack too much but we did enjoy the Starbucks. At some point, we had to stop to potty and MB & I then switched to a different kind of caffeine-mine in the form of diet Coke. We continued on our way to Atlanta!
*Since we had left around 7:30, we ended up getting to Atlanta before we were ready to eat lunch so our first stop was IKEA! I had always heard about this store from my interior design friend, Kym, but had never been to one. This is a fairly new store in Atlanta and my dad alerted me to the fact that it was open. I bet we spent 2-2 1/2 hours in it. It is HUGE and waaaay cool! I urge to check it out if you ever get a chance! Did we buy anything? NO! Can you believe it. The one thing I saw that I wanted was only in the showroom. We kept looking for it where you could actually pick it up and buy it and never could find it. Oh well!
*Next stop: food! The Varsity is an Atlanta tradition that you must try if you're ever there. I always get the "Pimento Cheese Burger" (which isn't on the menu...you just have to ask for it), fries, and a fried apple pie. YUM!
*At this point, we decided to head to Lenox Mall. They have some stores we just don't have access to very often: Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Godiva, etc. So we went there and had fun looking around. We were feeling the fact that we are no longer very young and we plopped down on the couches & chairs at Crate & Barrel. While there, someone came up with the idea of getting pedicures. Why not? So we finished up and headed towards Mom & Dad's to look for a place to get them done.
*We found a place that was quite inexpensive and they did a pretty good job. We just felt like they were really talking about us when we left. We kept thinking of the Seinfeld episode when Elaine went to get a pedicure and they would say, "Princess want pedicure? Princess in a hurry!"
*After that, we headed to Mom & Dad's for dinner. Mom had cooked a good dinner-as usual-which we enjoyed. She had made this "Double Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake" that was soooo good! My dad wasn't feeling well-his voice sounded much deeper than it usually does. We were sitting around after dinner trying to figure out our plans for the next day. We wanted to go eat after the Ladies' Day but we also wanted to go to a movie. It was only about 8:30 so we decided to go to the movies that night. We loaded up and went. We even made a stop at Bass Pro Shop for M to buy something for her husband.
*After the movie, we went back to Mom & Dad's and went upstairs to get pj's on. (Have I mentioned that all of our kids (7 total) are at home with their Daddies?!!?!? It was great!) M had brought the first 2 seasons of Grey Anatomy with her. MB & I are recent converts to Grey's, so we got caught up a little by watching the "Bonnie" episode. I'd had to call M during Grey's Thursday night to ask who she was. After that, it was time for sleep. We each got our own room for sleeping. Mom & Dad slept downstairs in the guest room.
*Thankfully, the thing at church didn't start until 10:30 so we didn't have to start the day too early. Pappy (my dad) made us Mickey Mouse waffles. Dad making waffles is a tradition. He used to carry me downstairs-usually on Saturday or Sunday mornings-to eat them. He sure couldn't do that now!

*Mom was going with us to the Ladies' Day (10:30-4:30) but we drove separately because she knew she would want to go home while we were planning to shop & stuff. Beth Moore's lesson was based on her book, "Get Out of That Pit." It was a really good lesson where she talked about us getting out of our pit-whatever it may be-and how Jesus can get any of us out of any pit. I decided that one of my biggest pits is FOOD! 'nuff said.

*After the Ladies' Day, we went to Garden Ridge. Again, I think we spent over 2 hours there! We did all buy something there. We got the best deals-bakeware, picture frames, party stuff etc.

*By the time we left, it was about 7:30 and we still had plans to go eat. The Cheesecake Factory is absolutely one of the BEST meals you will ever eat. When we got there around 8:00, we were told that there was a 65-80 minute wait. We went over to a shopping center that had some stores we wanted to visit. Well, by the time we got back we had missed being called! Luckily, we only had to wait about 10 more minutes before they got us a table. I bet it was 9:45 before we even sat down. We definitely weren't in our little town anymore! There were some fancy-schmancy people there!

*Once we sat down, we ordered this appetizer: Fried Macaroni and Cheese. Here is a picture that is similar to what they served. Seriously.....you have GOT to try it! I really didn't think it would be that good, I mean good, but not THAT good. Oh goodness! It was fantastic! So, so, so good! MB & I split an entree: shrimp scampi & salmon with mashed potatoes. Again, so good! M got shrimp scampi & steak. We were so stuffed but it's just about impossible to not get cheesecake so we ordered 1 piece to go: Vanilla Bean. If M & MB read this, they will probably note that I left out a little incident that happened on the way to The Cheesecake Factory. Something about me missing an exit, a car really close to the passenger side and a concrete barrier coming up fast in front of us. Hey, all I have to say is "All's well that ends well" right?!?!

*Mom & Dad ended up paying for our tickets to the Beth Moore conference-refused to let us pay-so we used what we would have used for that to buy them a gift certificate to The Cheesecake Factory. A little thank you for housing & feeding us over the weekend!

*We got back to the house-exhausted but happy and it was already smelling good from the roast Mom was cooking for lunch the next day. We let Mom have a taste of the cheesecake before we went upstairs to put on pj's and watch the "Dylan & the Bomb/Bailey giving birth" episodes of Grey's that I had also never seen in their entirety. 8:30 church was going to be there soon enough so we went to bed.


*We got up and got ready for church. It's amazing how much more quickly we could get ready without any children to get ready too! Dad was feeling really badly by this point so he didn't go to church with us which is quite rare for my dad. It's always nice to see people at church that I knew from growing up although there are lots of people there that I don't know now. With a church so large, I guess that happens. We went to class after church which I have to admit is always a little uncomfortable for me: going to class when you don't really know people. I knew some of them but still, it's a little out of my comfort zone.

*After church, we went back to Mom & Dad's and had a wonderful Sunday lunch of roast, carrots, vegetable casserole, biscuits, potatoes, fried apples and more cake! We were all tired but knew we needed to get on the road to get back.

*We left to come home, but "needed" to stop at one of the malls on the way. We probably stayed there 2-2 1/2 hours. We don't shop very quickly. By this point, we were all very tired. We drove for awhile and then MB needed to stop for a minute. We pulled into the gas station/Dairy Queen. She got out while M & I stayed in the van. M & I started discussing how we "could eat" since it was about 6:00. Forget the fact that we'd basically done nothing but eat the whole weekend! We'd walked a lot also so we figured we'd burned a lot of those calories! So, when MB got back, we pulled through the drive-thru and ordered something for M and something me. MB was going to get something at the McDonald's drive-thru.

After we got the food, we pulled over to get some gas. Here is the funny part. I'm sure I will not even come close to describing how funny this was but trust me, it was. The gas station was packed! MB pulled behind this truck and waited. I was pretty interested in eating so I didn't really notice that we sat there for about 5 minutes. It was empty and apparently no one was in a hurry to claim the vehicle. Finally, she said something about it and pulled out to go to a different pump. She pulled up behind a different truck and we waited. After a few minutes, we saw this old man with a cane come out of the gas station. He headed our way so I thought maybe he was coming to move his truck. M & MB said no, that another car had honked at him. Apparently they had done what any decent person would do and actually moved their vehicle while they were waiting to leave rather than just sitting at the pump making other people wait.

Well, the man turned around-slowly-to make his way to the car. Remember he had a cane and was kind of bent over. Well, this woman went up to him and took his arm to help him. Apparently, he didn't take too well to her kindness because he started running! Only this old man running with his cane was really more like shuffling but he was really going for someone so old in his condition. He really looked like he was going to fall a couple of times which really isn't funny but the whole situation was so comical looking. The lady stayed with him until he got in the car-she really was trying to be nice-so I guess he finally realized that she was trying to help him. No one in the car ever got out to help him. I know my writing probably does not do the story justice but trust me, it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life!

All 3 of us are laughing so hard and then we notice this man waiting for a different pump across from us is looking at us and he's laughing at us laughing so hard! Finally, we realize that the truck we're behind isn't going to move anytime soon so we pull to a different pump which we then see is roped off as not working. Then we pull behind a different SUV and the guy walks away from it into the gas station after he looks at us pulling up to wait. Finally, MB found a pump that was available. I think we were probably there for 30 minutes! I don't know why the people in the town never learned how to "pay at the pump" or at least the proper etiquette of pulling your car away from the pump so others can use it. It was so funny!

*Finally, we got home. We dropped off M then MB dropped me off. My family was at Life Group but they got home soon. I was happy to see them and they were happy to see me! Gracie seemed to really miss me which I thought was so sweet. She had her arms around my neck so tight. I heard the van door close when the got home so I went to the door. I could hear her outside saying, "Hurry! Hurry!"

It was a GREAT weekend! It was a blessing to spend this time with these 2 girls. The real reason for going-the Beth Moore conference-made me think about many important things and the fun I had with my friends was just icing on the cake! God has blessed me with these 2 girls who offer such wonderful things to me as friends. I'm so blessed with all of my friends-those who weren't with me this weekendas well-as they also are so valuable to me. I couldn't bring them all seeing as how we were staying at my parents' house which can only hold so many, but I'm thankful for them all.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my friends M & MB who are such blessings in my life-both for similar reasons but for different ones as well. They were such fun to be with and I'm thankful you have put them in my life. Thank you for my friends who weren't with me as well as they each offer something unique to my life. I'm so grateful for good girlfriends on whom I can lean & depend. I pray that I will be for them what they need me to be. Help me to be a good friend to all of my friends. Please let my girls grow up with good girlfriends who love You and who will help them grow closer to You. Thank you for our sweet husbands who so willingly & lovingly supported us going and took such good care of our children. I know for me personally I know Chris did a great job and didn't look at it as "babysitting" as some men do. He is their daddy and loves spending time with them and vice versa! Thank you for keeping us all safe as we were apart from our immediate families and thank you for my parents who opened their home to us.

In Jesus' Name,



Malia said...

Sounds like a GREAT weekend!

The fried mac & cheese at Cheesecake Factory is wonderful! I thought I'd never taste anything better but then last week on our date night, the restaurant we went to had a version of it and it was actually better than Cheesecake Factory's! I couldn't believe that was even possible :)

Matt Elliott said...

It was great seeing you Sunday, Jacinda!

Kimberly said...

Oh my goodness your weekend sounds WONDERFUL! I want the recipe to an ooey gooey chocolate butter cake if you have it! And I'm so jealous of all the great shopping! I want to go to Atlanta!