We've done enough of these special days now to have developed a "theme" for each one. Our springtime retreat theme is purses and shoes, and our dear decorating ladies were up for the task.
And take a look at this ... One of our While We're Waiting Moms' "alumni" made these adorable little purses with a nice chocolate surprise inside each one. Our decorating ladies used them as napkin rings. I pulled my napkin out so you could see the purse better. The little tag says, "Just for you."
How cute is that? Thank you, Lori! :)
We spent the morning sharing our children's stories, and I can't tell you what a blessing it was to hear all about these beautiful kids. My life is richer for having heard their stories. The afternoon time was spent in discussing topics faced by grieving moms ... we discussed how to handle our children's bedrooms, visiting the grave, surviving the holidays, issues with extended family members, and surviving siblings, among other things. We had two mother/daughter pairs with us this time, which added an entirely new depth to our conversation, as we were able to see things from a sister's and a grandmother's perspective.
Each lady was treated to a private massage, and then it was time for dinner. And what an amazing dinner it was! Here are the obligatory "foodie" pictures. I usually try to get the exact "Food Network" description of each dish from our amazing chef, but didn't get it this time, so you'll have to put up with my clumsy non-gourmet chef descriptions of each one.
The appetizer was some kind of amazing barbecued pork topped with a lime cole slaw on a soft tortilla. It was so good!
This was followed by a delicious Caesar salad ...
The intermezzo was next. The intermezzo is always my second favorite part of the meal. This was a strawberry sorbet with cherry juice and blueberries. Yummy!
The entree was Chinese dim sum. I've never had it before, and it was quite good ... probably something I would never have been brave enough to order in a restaurant. It was accompanied by delicious snow peas and jasmine rice.
In case you were wondering what my favorite part of the meal is ... it's dessert! And Chef Franklin really outdid himself this time in the eyes of this chocolate lover. Take a look at this ...
On that plate, we have whipped cream, coffee caramel ice cream, and two chocolate truffles. That other chocolate thing with the stars on top, you ask? OK ... get ready ... that is two double stuffed Oreos with a Reese's peanut butter cup between them, dipped in chocolate. Oh yes, you read that right. Take a peek inside...
It was ah-mazing. I happily cleaned my entire plate, and I don't even like coffee-flavored ice cream!
After dinner, we took a group photo. We were all pretty emotionally drained ... It had been a heavy day ... But it was a cleansing kind of drained. Sometimes you just need to take time to get all that stuff out as you work your way towards healing. Then we parted ways ... one of our Moms had driven all the way down from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, that morning and had a long drive back home!
These are some brave women. Not a single one of them would ever have chosen to be a part of a group like this. And every one of them, if somehow given the opportunity, would happily go back in time to a simpler place and time. But each one of them has accepted the fact that that is not possible, and they are choosing to live well while they're waiting to be reunited with their children (and sister and granddaughter) one day. And what better way is there to honor both their children and their Lord?