Today was the women's retreat at my church. It was the best one I've ever been to! So much "fun." The theme for the day was F.U.N: Faith, Unity, Never giving up. They even had cute folders and name tags for us:
When we got there at 8:30 (not loving the fact that I had to get up early on Saturday!) they had a wonderful breakfast of fruit, muffins, and tea or coffee. Then we had our first session..."Faith." The speakers were two women from a nearby church, and they were hilarious!
After that we had our first elective. We had to pick 3 electives out of a group of about 12. I picked cupcake decorating for my first one. We all made sunflower cupcakes, because sunflowers always move to follow the sun, and we should always move to follow the SON (it went along with the faith theme). It ended up being very easy, and I thought it turned out so cute!
It looked much better when I had first finished it. It got a little banged up in the box on the ride home. The ladybug is made out of a red m&m, and it's my favorite part! Michelle, the woman who led the class, gave us bunches of great tips. She showed us how to flatten icing to make it look like fondant. This is her secret tip, and I'm sharing it with you, so you should feel lucky ;-) You just frost the cupcake or cake, and then set a Viva paper towel on top. lightly run your finger back and forth on top of the paper towel, and it makes it PERFECTLY smooth. It has to be Viva paper towel on the smoothest side, because that brand is not textured. Also, she told us how to make tasty fake fondant (the real stuff doesn't always taste too great). She said you just melt marshmallows, and then add lots of powdered sugar. It gives you the same texture as fondant, but tastes much better! She totally inspired me, and got me very interested in cake decorating.
Next was our second elective. I chose the nutrition class. I was absolutely floored by some of the things I learned. Lets just say I plan to be much more careful and aware of what I put in my body. Did you know that it takes 100 days for your body to totally digest trans fat?! Gross! One of the best tips the nutritionist taught us was to only buy from the outside aisle of the grocery store. That's where all the natural stuff is with nothing added. She also said that organic IS better for you. I've always wondered if it really made a difference, or if it was just a passing fad.
After the nutrition class was lunch. I had to forget everything I learned in the nutrition class for a few minutes so I could eat the delicious food! Ha! Men from the church completely planned, prepared and cleaned up both breakfast and lunch. They did a great job! For lunch they prepared 3 bars: A salad bar, a potato bar, and an ice cream bar! I tried my first sweet potato today at the potato bar. Someone told me a long time ago that they were gross, so I just never tried them. Well, I'm glad I did today, because it was completely delicious! I plan on picking some up at Giant Eagle on Monday :-)
Next was our second session: Unity, and then our final elective class. For my last class I chose the movie room. My mom was in charge of this room, and she said she'd be mad if I didn't go to her class (jokingly, of course). We watched an Anita Renfroe video. If you don't know, she's a HILARIOUS Christian comedian. The video we watched today was about pregnancy and childbirth. Very funny, but definitely made me a little worried about actually going through that someday!!
Lastly we had our final session: Never give up. This was a very powerful one. They encouraged everyone to write down on a card the one thing in our life that caused them the most pain. We brought our cards up to the alter to symbolize giving them up to God. Then the speakers read and prayed over the cards. (don't worry, it was all anonymous). I had written down "loneliness" on my card, because I have struggled with this a lot. To hear how many other women wrote down the same thing made me feel so NOT alone. It was very emotional and very freeing to know that God can take our struggles from us so that we don't have to worry about them.
Now I'm planning on taking a nap while Luke's outside creating a patio for our grill (pictures to come later!) It was such a great day of fun and fellowship with some amazing women. I was glad that a few of my friends came today too...I'm always worried it's going to be me and 70 middle-aged-or-older women. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it just makes me feel a little awkward, and very young! But there were lots of younger women there today.
On the agenda for tonight is our 40 Days of Purpose Bible study and probably a movie at home with Luke after that. Have I mentioned how much I love weekends?!
Oh!!! I almost forgot! I found out some great news at lunch today! It's no secret that I haven't been real happy with my job lately. Well I was talking to my senior pastor's wife today (an amazing Christian woman, and a dear, dear friend). She is also a teacher, but she works at a Christian school. She told me what they pay subs today and I think my eyes almost popped out of my head. It's a lot...a lot more than any other school district I've heard of! So the plan is to sub there and at a few other schools in my area unless I get a full time teaching position. I've never been in a Christian school environment, and can't wait to sub there to see what it's like!
Finally I'm done. My posts end up being so long, I just have a hard time not talking!! As much as I talk, I wonder if people realize how extremely shy I am in person!