Last weekend I went to northeast Georgia to speak at a women's retreat.  True to form, I didn't take many pictures, but I did manage to capture the stuff that mattered, so while you won't get to hear about the place we stayed or the food we ate, you WILL get to hear about my sister-in-law dressed up and shakin' it like Tina Turner, and Dennis, the alter-ego (thanks to a misspelling on her name tag) of my friend Denise.  Dennis is the envy of every person who has ever tried their hand at Zumba.  Dennis embodies the spirit of Zumba.  Dennis is bootylicious. And let's be real - that stuff is much more interesting than what I had for lunch.

I started the weekend out with a bang.  An absent-minded, idiotic bang.

I got up early Friday morning and nursed Sam for the last time as my husband loaded all my bags into the car.   I hugged everyone goodbye and as I laid my hand on the doorknob I said,

"I feel like I'm forgetting something."

I inventoried my car: Suitcase, check. Computer bag, check.  Toiletries bag, check.  Purse, iPod, GPS, phone charger, camera, Bible - check, check, check. "I guess I'm just feeling frazzled,"  I said.

Fast forward an hour and a half.  I'm crossing the state line into Tennessee, I look over my shoulder and see out the window that it's okay to switch lanes.  I see out the window...I see out the window.  Nothing is obstructing my seeing out the window.


I called Dan immediately.

"Honey, is there a garment bag hanging in the hallway there?"

"Yeah, why?  What's in it?"

"Oh, nothing important.  ONLY ALL MY CLOTHES FOR THIS WEEKEND."

 Yes.  I somehow managed to leave for an entire weekend and not pack any clothes.  How is that possible?  Clothes are the bread and butter of packing - they constitute more than half of the packed content.  They are, unless you are a nudist, the most basic, necessary thing.  And I just birthed a baby, so I'm in no shape to be a nudist.  A month and a half postpartum and my brain is still worthless.  Those hormones are legit.

I've learned that in a situation such as this (not my first time), there's really nothing to do but laugh, so I did.  And then I called my friend Tami so she could laugh, too.  She said, "What are you going to do?"

To which I replied, "I'm going shopping, THAT'S what I'm going to do!"

I told Dan I would buy two outfits, keep the tags, change out of them immediately after I was finished speaking, and return them after the retreat.  To which Dan replied, "Isn't that a little bit unethical?"

To which I replied (grinning from ear to ear), "Yes. It is definitely unethical.  You are right - it is important that I go shopping now and buy two brand new complete outfits that I will keep forever and ever amen.  Woe is me."

I made it to the retreat center an hour later than I had planned with two bulging Target bags in tow.  Now you may be wondering - if there were no clothes, what was in the suitcase?

Which is more pathetic?  That I brought 7 pairs of shoes for 3 days, or that I actually wore 5 of them?

The rest of the weekend was completely wonderful:  The first whisperings of fall in the mountains.   Nearly 50 ladies, some of whom were precious friends of mine and some I'd never met.   Enough food for three times that number.  Pajamas, laughter, a healthy dose of competition in a weekend-long trivia game.  Zumba, cupcakes, late night games of Hand and Foot, uninterrupted sleep, and the opportunity to talk about something that I care so deeply about.

THAT is the recipe for a great weekend.

The only real stressor was the time that I texted my husband requesting a picture of the kids to get me through, and he texted back,

"They're back at the house."

He thought he was being really playful and clever.  What he didn't know is that my cell service was so spotty that I didn't get the follow-up message with the photo until 6 hours later.  When we finally spoke I calmly informed him that it is not appropriate to say such things to a woman who has left her brand new little infant son for the first time, especially not while the "crazy" hormones are still raging through her bloodstream.

But other than that, great weekend.

Holy facial expressions.  I CANNOT OVERSTATE how much you want these women to be your Zumba instructors.  Neither can I begin to describe the "interpretive stretching."  There were streamers involved, and twirling.