We missed our west coasters (Daughter1 and her hubs), but the rest of the crew was present and accounted for, and combined to create one great big family gathering.
We drove over the mountain and through the woods (literally) late Friday afternoon, arriving just in time to indulge in our favorite BBQ (Buddy's for you local peeps reading here) with the parents and my sister-in-law's family.
Daughter2 and her sweet pup rode over from SC with us, and her boyfriend drove in to join the party Saturday morning. Hubs declares any weekend with a daughter in the house a win.
We spent Saturday morning prepping the food for that evening's birthday dinner, and also Easter lunch. Nobody went hungry, that's for certain!
My sister-in-law is the only girl child in the family, and we all know the girl child is the designated family event organizer, right? She did a fabulous job with the gift and cake and I know my mother in law felt very well loved.
Because she is.
My mother-in-law's four children, their spouses, and her grandchildren may reside in six different states, but we managed to make great use of technology and create a cute birthday video message in her honor.
We also each contributed several pages filled with photographs, hand-written messages, and memories that were pressed into a scrapbook, which she will absolutely treasure.
The cake was gorgeous. Made by a local baker with a 'tag' at the bottom that reads, 'Thanks to you, we bloom'. So, so pretty! It weighed about a thousand pounds, and was delicious.
Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful, and I had baskets for my girl and her sweetie before church. You're never too old for an Easter basket, but you are sometimes too old to remember to photograph it.
Probably the highlight of the weekend for my mother-in-law was sitting in a church pew surrounded by her children and grandchildren. We're spread hither and yon, so it's not something that happens very often, and I know it was a bright spot for her in an already brilliant weekend.
After church we shared the traditional meal of baked ham and pineapple stuffing and then a few folks headed to the couch for a nap, and a few of us headed to one of our absolute favorite places in the Smoky Mountains-the Y.
It's good for the soul y'all.
Hubs drove me, Daughter2, and her boyfriend around the Cades Cove loop at dusk, and while we didn't see any bear this trip we did spy lots of deer, a coyote, and as always God's amazing handiwork. This place has His signature all over it.
"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!"~Albert Einstein