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September 3, 2013

The Cabin | My Happy Place

Several years ago I started going up to Pigeon Forge with my Clemson girls (aka Clemsongang) for a weekend in December.  It was a weekend all of us always looked forward to because it was the one time a year that was always blocked off so we could all be there.  As the girls got married and began having babies, not only did the group grow, but we had to get a bigger cabin too!  As the years have gone by, things have changed and we’ve now moved our weekend to the beach in January (December was getting a little crazy and trying to make it up the mountains in January seemed a little too risky!).  And while the location isn’t what matters, I remember feeling a sadness as we left the cabin in December 2011 because I knew that we as a group wouldn’t be back.

But God has a funny way of giving us things when and how we least expect it.  Not only have we been to Pigeon Forge this year with Ben’s family, but we’ve just returned from a weekend up there with our community group!

I’ve learned that most places have meaning because of the people that you have experienced that place with… it’s the relationships, the bonding, the laughter, the tears, the late nights, the fellowship over food, the games played, and the time spent well together.  And it’s all of those things that have made “the cabin” one of my happy places.  And I’m so thankful that Ben was able to experience the cabin with the Clemsongang before we moved to the beach.  Because when I mentioned going to the cabin with his family and then with our community group, he was all for it!

So today, I’m thanking my amazing husband for being a part of all of these memories.  I’m thanking Ben’s family for trying something new.  And I’m thanking our community group for spending their Labor Day weekend in one of my happy places.

Enjoy some of my favorites from both of these trips!

Ben took some video while I was getting photos of the weekend. And as you can tell (since this was JULY!), family photos always seem to take a back seat…

These are the two youngest cousins and they love playing together!

And everyone else loves watching them!

I’ve only known these nieces and nephews for 3 years, but they’ve grown SO much in that short time!

And then there was that time a bear came to play pool.

Uncle Benji definitely gives the best piggy back rides.

Ben’s dad’s birthday is July 4 so decorations went up while he was grilling outside.

Andrew did NOT want to be left out of the group hug!

Why not have a little Christmas in July??

It’s not a cabin trip without a little pool.

Grace’s birthday was July 6, so we celebrated the night before we left with a Narnia themed party!

Even though her mom couldn’t find a lot of Narnia items in the stores, she got really creative and did an amazing job setting the scene!

A little Musical Pillows :-)

And a short photo shoot for the birthday princess.

In Narnia, you play Pin the Tail on the Lion.

And your piñata is a lion’s head!

And while the kids went to Narnia via DVD, the adults played Apples to Apples upstairs.

And before we knew it… it was September and we were back at the cabin! (Note, it’s not the same cabin – it almost never is – but I’ve always referred to trips up there as “going to the cabin”).

The name of this cabin was Beary Cozy… and we may have taken that name to the extreme this weekend!

We meant to count the number of bears all over the cabin but forgot to.  My guess is at least 872 on all 3 floors.

Our nervous smiles before the Clemson/Georgia game! (thanks for the iPhone picture, Jason!)

Kristin brought the Clemson pasta…

Susan went all out with these amazing cookies!!

Casey made those delicious buffalo cups to the left and Shannon and Jason hooked us up with fruit and veggies.

The next morning we went to the Apple Barn for breakfast and wandered around a bit…
(I only had my 50mm lens so the iPhone came in handy for this!)

Ben was trying to get some reading in while everyone was shopping in the Christmas store :-)

Casey gave me permission to take this photo… but my bet is that she was only thinking Instagram, not the blog!  Sorry, girl, but I love it!

You better believe we all got bear ornaments with PF ’13 (Pigeon Forge) on them as a souvenir!

Cheesy?  Yes.  Hilarious?  Definitely.  Worth putting on our Christmas tree every year?  You better believe it!

Part of Pigeon Forge is all of the attractions on the Parkway and everywhere else. This place was right across from our cabin’s neighborhood so we took the plunge and went!

It was a tad scary, but totally worth it!

And then we spent about 3 hours playing Apples to Apples!

Sunday was September 1, which made it 3 years from when Ben and I first met at Starbucks.  So, we ventured out around 8:30pm and had a mini-date to celebrate.
And you better believe we each got something with pumpkin spice in it!

Thanks for everyone that entered the contest from Friday’s blog post!  The winner (via random.org) was post #4… Sarah K.!

  1. Sarah K says:

    Yeah! I can’t wait to get one of those Pumpkin Spice Lattes! ;)

  2. Casey says:

    I love the cabin photos…and my hat! And yes I totally thought it was a solo instagram pic :)

  3. […] been about two and a half years since we took a trip up to Pigeon Forge to stay in a cabin for the weekend.  And I’ve missed it!!  But when we were looking at the […]

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