Sunday, October 21, 2012

The final day

The 1st ever 2012 Couples retreat has come to a close.  It was a smashing success!  The final day/ night involved some paddleboarding (they are pros now!), lounging at the beach, boogie boarding, steaks, hanging out by the fire and making smores.  A perfect ending to a perfect week.  Thanks to all of the special couples who opened up their hearts to Little Pink and made lasting friendships.  We will miss you!

And so it ends with a romantic dance with your partner.  Keep smiling, keep laughing, keep living, and keep loving!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A long journey

Sometimes you have a chance to cross paths with amazing people.  Over the course of all of the breast cancer retreats that I have had a chance to be a part of, this statement is so incredibly true.  There are wonderful families that come, loving couples, generous donors, local community groups that support us, volunteers that give of their time, and random strangers who come across our path with a gift to give. 

We are winding up our couples retreat tonight in Buxton, North Carolina.  It has been a wonderful week full of transformational changes for many of our women- going from a place of trying to figure out how to move beyond cancer back into living.  Realizing that the days that they have should be about reaching out and being ridiculously present with the people that they love.  Cancer is a long journey that is full of twists and turns.

About a year ago, I had a twist that changed my path with Little Pink Houses of Hope.   A strong, vibrant woman named Allyson called to see about Little Pink and wanted to learn more.  We immediately hit it off when we talked and I was thrilled by her vision of hosting a retreat for couples in her home in the Outer Banks.  After meeting her and her husband, Andy and their two boys, excitement could only build in preparation for the retreat.  The home is an idealic setting for a retreat (clearly the pics posted throughout the week are evidence of that).  And the second I stepped into their home, I was invited in and felt like I had known her for years.  We stayed up half the night talking about being a mom, a wife, a cancer survivor, and people who wanted to make a big difference in the world.  Her energy invited me to think big and dream grand.   She and Andy were all in and wanted to volunteer for the retreat as well. 

But sometimes the journey changes.  And Allyson's journey did exactly that last night as she lost her battle with cancer.  All week long I have passed by an awesome picture of her which captures exactly how I wish to remember her and the feeling that has been so present in the house all week- a feeling of sheer joy and happiness.

And that is the gift that her and Andy have given to our families this week.  We talked about it at our final wrap up tonight- the idea of being ridiculously present and understanding how God has a path that he has laid out for each of us that is greater than we can ever imagine.  Thank you Allyson for imagining this retreat- you would have loved it!  It was sheer joy and happiness each moment!  You will forever be missed.
The 2012 Buxton Little Pink Couples Retreat

Friday, October 19, 2012

Boat loads of fun!

We spent the day taking the ferry over to Ocracoke and exploring!  We had professional photography this afternoon from Daniel Pullen Photography, so we only have a few pics to post today.  Daniel was able to capture photography tonight on the dock with a beautiful sunset in the background... can't wait to see them!

 We left our mark on the Flying Melon at Ocracoke as well for lunch.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Horsing around!

Today was a great day that was all about playing!  We started the day with horseback riding on the beach- a bucket list item for lots of our couples. Thanks to Jeff, Suzie and Alex from Hatteras Island Horseback Riding

 We had a beautiful day to play on the beach, kayak, paddle board and enjoy the sunshine!

 And had a wonderful relaxation yoga session provided by the fabulous Tammy, owner of Spa Koru!
 Look at that amazing sunset!

And finished the night off with a delicious meal and a game of celebrity!

 And one of our wonderful moms, Dawn made a special candle for each of us- you can buy them online at her website, , a portion of the proceeds go to support women in her local community with breast cancer.

We are off to Ocracoke tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A biscuit, a paddle, and a pretty sunset!

The day started off with:  sausage gravy and biscuits, omelettes, apple uglies, hashbrowns, and fresh fruit.  I guess we figured that if we were going to fall in the water today, we were gonna sink with all that food on our bellies!  We finally got a chance to stand up paddle today after the wind died down and everyone did AMAZING!

 And then it was off to Date Night at the Inn at Pamlico!  Delicious!