This year we were hitting the pavement at 5am, and no we did not trample people to death to be the first ones in the mall; we were the perky ones skipping into the store.
We literally shopped till we dropped.
And sure while we all found some great deals, it didn't compare to the awesome heartfelt conversations I had with my Mom and sister.
We laughed so hard till it hurt, people watched, and giggled about jokes between the three of us no one else could ever appreciate. At one point while perusing the racks at JC Penney my sister pulled me aside and thanked me for everything I helped plan and do for her recent wedding; how much it meant to her, her new husband, and how much fun she had doing it with me. It completely caught me off guard but totally warmed my heart in every way.
After hitting up one of our favorite stores LOFT (everything was 50% off...what the gravy!?!?) we headed to re-fuel ourselves with some caffeine at Starbucks where I also had the second coffee of my life; an iced peppermint mocha. Coffee and I are new acquaintances.
My sister just got married in October so this has been the first time in a long time all three of us have really had some quality girl time together. Once we all sat down and started talking it got deep fast. We talked about.everything. Being married, sex, future baby names, how to be an effective Christian witness, being a good wife, mistakes we've made in life, etc. Annie and I talked with Mom/asked advice on being married and how to be a good wife; Mom shared her wisdom and life experiences with us and what she has learned from her mistakes in marriage and motherhood.
We talked about how since us girls have grown up (mostly) how MUCH we appreciate our family origin, as we've met so many people who were not blessed with the family life we had growing up. We talked about our relationships with our Dad and brother. I asked their advice on how to handle certain situations/people with my in-laws and how to make those relationships work out well. I talked to them on issues Jim and I have been working through in the time since we've been married.
We talked about how not to judge other people and shared lessons we have all learned in doing that. There was really nothing that was off limits. We were just present to each other; three women in different stages of life and facing different challenges. Honestly it felt like just a heart-felt therapy session with Mom and Annie, and was just what my heart needed.
As I came home and was telling Jim about our day, (and showing him the purchases) this was more than another Black Friday shopping trip for me. It was a simple, beautiful, grace-filled moment to simply be with some of the people I love most in the world. I was so blessed by it and am so thankful God has given me these amazingly awesome women who both encourage, support, and challenge me all at the same time in my life.
An iced peppermint mocha, two scones, and 10 hours later...I was excited to that all our Christmas shopping was done, but more importantly I was counting my blessings for these two ladies in my life:)