What a wonderful day our family had! We celebrated Easter by worshipping at the PAC and, as usual, Pastor Matt was able to bring the message of Christ's resurrection to life. Each year that my faith grows and strengthens, the deeper meaning that the Easter holiday has for me. It was such a blessing to be at church with Chuck, the kids, and my parents (and well over 1,000 other people!). Chuck had to go early because he was an usher today, so he didn't make the pre-church pics...he was with us in spirit though!
Oh, and the Easter Bunny came too....with lots of goodies, as usual!
I am so thankful for this wonderful day and I am glad that we could spend it with friends and family.
It took longer than I thought to get these pics on, but they were worth the wait. What better than a post of some of my very favorite people in the world? Just more of the great memories of a trip with great friends.
Everyone walking to the visitor's center before the hike. We were all excited to start the morning!
The one and only pic of our whole group. I was glad that Emily told me to jump in since it turned out being the only group shot we had. At least I have proof that I was there!
Just beginning the hike. I was already getting tired so I stopped to take a picture.
Chuck, by a little cave along the trail. Again, a good excuse for me to rest for a moment and enjoy the beauty while catching my breath. :0)
When we made it to the top, most of our group had been there for a bit and they had gone down this huge ravine to explore. It was hard to capture just how far down they were. Here are Emily and Grace.
Tim and Brock - they came, they saw, they conquered!
Sandy, Kimber, and Kenz making their way down...it was a little treacherous!
Em, Dane, Gage, and Grace.
I just thought this was so strikingly beautiful!
I think Deb and I were the only ones that stayed up, so the rest of the group can be seen in this picture. They had such fun exploring and it was fun watching from the top and seeing the wonder as they explored. What a fun experience! I was sure glad that I kept going and made it to the top so that I could see this!
On our first morning in Gatlinburg we were going to go on a hike at Laurel Falls. On this morning everyone was taking their time getting up and ready to go, so I had a little time on my hands. I decided that I would go outside and maybe take some shots of the scenery around the cabin. Well, almost immediately after I stepped out of the cabin I was treated to the sound of children laughing and chatting. I could hear our crew of kiddos, but I couldn't find them. Following the laughter, I headed behind the cabin and up a small embankment to find Chuck, Tim and the kids hunting in the wooded area behind the cabin. It became evident that they were looking for walking sticks. Now, this was something that Tim and Sandy must have told the kids about, because we have never been hiking and certainly wouldn't have known to get a hiking stick. For a little while, I just watched and took in the moment of the kids laughing and enjoying the company of the dads in the early morning sunshine. It really warmed my heart. Initially, I had gone out to take pictures of the scenery, but what I discovered was much more of what my heart desired. I just love capturing the smiles of the people that I love and care about while they are doing things that they really love. It is THOSE memories that I want to lock away in my heart and mind for a lifetime. It is those memories that make life worth living. I remember thinking that so clearly on that morning...remembering that THIS is what I wanted my focus in life to be...not all of the little stresses that tend to overwhelm us and take over our lives at times. I hope that these pictures will always help to conjure up the fun and memories of that morning in Gatlinburg.