About two weeks ago, a couple of friends of mine and I went to Tampa for the weekend. We had been looking forward to it for quite awhile, and when the time finally came, we were like a bunch kids excited for Christmas Day! Our husbands were awesome for letting us have our weekend away. We started out on Friday morning, by stopping at the new Ikea in Orlando. We spent a good couple of hours there browsing the store and then eating lunch. Of course I had to try the Swedish Meatballs. They weren’t bad, for cafeteria food! I was able to find Mattie an inexpensive table and chairs, and this totally awesome wall night-light. I love Ikea!
We made our way over to Tampa from Orlando. Rebekah had printed out the talk given by Elder Ballard from this past conference. She read it to us while I drove. We thought that it was a great reminder as to why we were taking this trip! We got to Tampa late in the afternoon, and headed over to Rebekah’s Aunt Shannon’s house. She was letting us stay with her for the weekend. Our plan for Saturday was to go to an all day scrapbook crop, so we made our way over to the biggest scrapbook store ever, to get a couple of last minute things for the next day. It is the coolest store, and has everything you can imagine. We left the Scrapbook Shoppe and headed to a mall for dinner. We went to a Pacific dining place (I don’t remember the name of it). Rebekah and I split some yummy lettuce wraps and an orange chicken dish. It came with this amazing crunchy spinach side. I honestly don’t know how they do it, but the spinach is cooked and crunchy! It was so good. Then we headed over to The Cheesecake Factory and Valerie and I split a Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake. That also was way yummy! After our full day, we were all tired and headed off to bed, so we would be rested for our day of scrapbooking.
We awoke early on Saturday morning, and headed over to the scrapbook crop. It was held in the auditorium of a church. They were hosting it to raise money for the church’s school. We each paid $45 and that covered the space, 3 meals, unlimited drinks, snacks and door prizes. We were all at a table cluster together. Our group included Rebekah, Valerie, Erin, Shannon and me. One of the hosts welcomed everyone to the crop, and let us know that the packet of paper that was on everyone’s place setting was the same for a reason. The reason was that they would be having a contest for page layout with that paper. The winner would get a gift certificate to the Scrapbook Shoppe. I looked through the paper and looked through my pictures to see if I had any that would go with the paper. I found some pictures that our friend Katie had taken of our family, so I decided to take a stab at the contest for fun. The contestants had until 6pm to turn in the pages they made. I got mine done in the morning and just moved on to my other stuff. After dinner that evening, they announced that they would be giving everyone there a ticket to vote on their favorite layout. There were 13 people that entered, including me. They said that there would be 5 places, so I thought that maybe I would at least place. Everyone voted, and they decided to announce the winners of the contest first, before moving on to the raffle prizes. A lady held up the two pages and said, “Whose are these?” I couldn’t believe it, I won first place (although it was the pictures of Mattie that I think people really liked)! I won a $25 gift certificate to the Scrapbook Shoppe. I was pretty excited.
They moved on to drawing the raffle winners. We had each bought a some raffle tickets. Rebekah really wanted to win a $250 gift certificate from a professional photographer. There were some hot stone massages, a photo printer, a gift basket full of scrapbook supplies, and a beautiful leather scrapbook tote full of supplies. I put most of my tickets in the bowl for the tote. I thought that it would be nice to win it, but I wasn’t dying to win it, because I already had a nice tote that Matt got me for Christmas a couple of years ago. Well, Rebekah won the photo prize, and she was so happy. The very last raffle they drew was for the tote, and low and behold my name was drawn as the winner! I couldn't believe that I won something again. The tote plus the supplies in it were worth over $200! I’m sure many of the other women were disliking me at that moment.The next day we were able to go to sacrament meeting with Shannon at her ward. It was a missionary farewell for their Bishop’s son. He was going on his mission to Salta, Argentina. (That’s the same mission Matt went to!) So, there we sat a couple of mothers without our children, bawling like a bunch of babies! Its amazing how much you can feel the Spirit without trying to keep a 2 year old quiet. The future elder’s talk was on overcoming trial, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a really great sacrament meeting.
My weekend away was super rejuvenating and refreshing. I was excited to come home to Matthew and my little Mattie, but it was nice to have a Mommy weekend away!