Fair warning, this is LONG... so if you are here only for the giveaway (which I hope you aren't!), then just go to the bottom for all the deets.

Gosh. I don't even know where to begin, really. We had all been looking forward to this weekend for SO long and then all of a sudden it was here! It was so exciting and a wee bit nerve racking all at the same time.
And it deserves to be large and in charge.
To sum it up: #NASavannah was perfect. I couldn't have asked for anything better! :)

We all got along so well, but missed all of you who couldn't come. I think most of us are writing our recaps, and then will link them up here. So, if you didn't get to join us, please read through our posts, and hopefully you'll feel like we were ALL hanging out. :)

I drove up from Orlando, a little later and a little more stressed than I had anticipated. But, once my mom reminded me that there wasn't a need to be stressed and worried, I just took a deep breath and made myself throw any expectations out the window!

And, boy, I am so glad I did! We didn't structure much into the weekend on purpose. This was a girls' weekend. Not a conference. Or a retreat. But, friends getting together for relaxation and fun! And that's exactly what it was!

It took longer than I thought to get into town, so poor Niki had to wait longer for me to get her from the airport. Once I picked her up.... it was real. The weekend was actually happeninggggg! :)

We made it to the house! THE HOUSE! The front didn't look exactly like the pics online... a little older and weathered than it appeared. But, the inside was exactly like the pics.  And it was beautiful. The epitome of Southern charm. I loved it! A little while later Beth Anne arrived! We chatted and explored the backyard. Where there was A CHICKEN COUP!!! This was so exciting for most of us. I am not sure I would want chickens to take care of in real life, but for the weekend it was so fun. And to get fresh eggs?! So awesome!!
One lone egg on Friday.
And, yes, I practically climbed in there to get this!

After a little while, I banished Beth Anne and Niki away from me as I got the surprise tote bags all ready! Morgan and I were SO EXCITED about these. :) Rakhi from the Pitter Patter Diaries and Rakstar Designs came up with the awesome design!! We were able to get a few fun goodies from the Steubie Conference, along with help from Martha and our beloved Cindy.  I had told Cindy about the totes a while ago and asked if she would like to send a note, some chocolate, or something. And she was so gracious and sent us the beautiful bracelets! :) Thank you so very much to ALL of you for your help! The girls LOVED the bags! :)

 Finally all the girls arrived... THIS WAS THE MOMENT!! We got to meet the people that we have gotten to know through the written word for what seems like forever, IN PERSON. AH! It was so surreal. Yet completely normal at the same time.

We opened our totes, chatted and realized we were starving. Thank God Mary Grace (no blog, but she totally should have one) stepped up and made the decision for the hole-in-the-wall BBQ place, Bub-Ba-Q. So, off we went. For dinner... with people that I have been imagining what it would be like to hang out with. And here we were! :)
It was amazing. I don't know how many times I said, "I just can't believe we are all sitting here right now!" To which everyone usually replied, "I know! This is crazy!" haha.

A few of us had a luxurious (!) time getting some groceries and then we all met back up at the house for a HILARIOUS game of Balderdash (is that right?!). I had never played that before and it was pretty amazing. We chatted, and called it a night.

Saturday was pretty darn awesome. I thought we would all get up and head down town, explore, eat, do our thing. I mean... that did happen... but we didn't leave until 1 in the afternoon! We had a leisurely morning of coffee and breakfast and good-for-the-soul girl talk.  I mean... we talked about everything.  We chatted in the living room. We got ready. And then had another long chatting sesh in mine and Morgan's room. On our beds.  Total slumber party material.

Amazing. I loved every minute.

We finally headed out. Here we are enjoying the riverfront. :)

And then we shopped. Explored. Took pictures. Talked more and more. Basically, had the best of times. I won't go into allll the deets. How about I just show you more pics?! :)


The Waving Girl
Morgan and Rachel

Seriously some of the prettiest parks.

I love this picture so very much.

St. John's Cathedral!
We attended vigil mass together.

I LOVE that we were able to share the Eucharist together!

We got kicked out of the cathedral pretty quickly... ya know, a wedding. We took that very first pic, and hauled butt to get somewhere before it down poured. And we literally found the best little coffee/wine shop. And then the skies opened and the rain came a-running!

This is the only pic I have from there... would you be
surprised to know that there is wine in those cups... and
NOT coffee?!
Check out Joan's recap for the adorable pic of all of us. :)
I think the coffee/wine shop time was one of my favorite moments of the entire weekend because it was like we were a group of friends just hanging out. Not some random chicks that met through our blogs. We evolved so very quickly INTO that group of friends hanging out. It was so easy and natural. And fun!

After it finally stopped raining, we went to a very yummy and trendy seafood bar, Chive, for a late dinner.  Enjoyed the good food, fun music and each other's company once more.  After we got a little bit turned around trying to find the parking garage, we made it home.... and you will never believed what we did more of!  Talked. I KNOW! :)  We never ran out of anything to talk about. Which, I suppose is a good thing, since we all are bloggers and we kind of need things to talk/write about. :)

The next morning, we enjoyed coffee and EGGS from our chickens!!!  We had SIX of them. Incredible.  We cleaned up everything, packed, became sad and took a million stair pics that resulted in this AMAZING gif. Enjoy!
Katie and Mary Grace... kills me. ha.
Prayed the St. Ann's novena, hugged each other a gazillion times, took one last selfie, and we went our separate ways!

 Almost... Niki, Joan and I had a road trip back to my house. So, our time wasn't cut cut as quickly. We even hit up the beach before I took them to the airport on Monday.

See?! It was spectacular. I just had the best of times. For me, this weekend brought about many realizations. One, community is so very important. I am encouraged and inspired to make this more of a reality in my everyday life.  And, two, my need for single friends is very real. I didn't realize how vital being friends with people who are in your same boat, right now, is. As the ever wise Martha said, you don't realize what you are lacking (b/c you are lacking it) until you are hit in the face with it! So very true.

Ladies... thank you. Thank you for coming. Thank you for being you. Thank you for laughing and being silly, talking all the time, accepting me for who I am, and encouraging me to be the person God has created me to be. And really... that goes for ALL of you. Not just the ladies who made it to Savannah. It's so true for all of you who have participated, commented, emailed and most importantly prayed for me. We are a community. And I am so thankful to God for all of you each and every day. :)

Phew! You made it!

Ok! GIVEAWAY!!!! For those of you who could not join us, you now have the chance to win one of our totes!!!!

What will you win??? Well, take a look at the pic above!
~The tote with the custom NAS design
~2 prayer cards
~Bracelet from Cindy
~Savannah, GA guidebook
~A little notebook
~Pamphlets about the Carmelite sisters discernment retreat/ministries
~Paradigm Clothing card (they are awesome, check them out!)

All you have to do is comment below and tell me if you would have been all about the chickens or not! haha. That's it!!  Enter by Friday, August 1, 2014 at 11:59pm. I will choose the winner on August 2nd! The order you comment is the number that you will be given.  I will then use to get a number. Be sure to tell me about the chickens and include your email! (If the number that is chosen goes with a lady that went to Savannah, obviously she doesn't win, and I will go with the next number!).

But WAIT! There is more!
Rakhi wanted to let you guys know that she has the tote design in PRINT available at her shop (Eep! I can't wait to have it on my wall!). OR! She is even thinking of creating a journal or planner or, even, a mug!!! If that is something of interest to you (ANY of you NAS ladies), please visit her Etsy shop or email her (rakhi.mccormick at gmail dot com) with any questions. :) PLUS, if you order by August 31st, you can get 25% off your first order! Use code: NAS14

Ok, one last thing about Paradigm Clothing. They are an up and coming company whose mission is "to clean the lens that the world looks through - making truth clear and definitive once more" by creating "clothes that uses art and style to subtly convey a deeper meaning." They had/have booths at all of the Steubenville conferences, and are offering a discount if you buy stuff online. Use code: Steubie14 They don't have a clue I'm blogging about them. I just really love their mission and bought one of their shirts, and I love it! All I'm asking is to check them out! :)

Annnnnnnnnnnd! Check out all of the ladies recaps as they link up below! Ooook, I am DONE!
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  1. *Sigh* this sounds SO lovely. It just makes my heart so happy seeing all the girl-time shenanigans :-) Can't wait to read more from everyone! I am so grateful you ladies were able to get together for this weekend, and vow to be there next time unless something crazy comes up! I've been toying with the idea of having chickens myself, so that would have been really interesting. Thank you, thank you, ladies for creating this community!

  2. P.S. You are all BEAUTIFUL! Love the pictures :-)

  3. First things first. Stinkin' cute tote bag and goodies!! I love it!! SO-- I am ALL about the chickens. ;) I love farm fresh eggs and that's mostly what I buy since there are a lot of farmers in my area. Not sure if I'd want to own chickens someday, but definitely like buying local eggs. :)

    Second-- I seriously teared up twice during this post. So, so beautiful. God made us for community. What a gift. Loved it. Thanks for sharing your weekend. Wish I would have caught Rachel's phone call but I hope you enjoyed my voicemail back to her! hee hee. :)

  4. That picture/gif cracks me up every time I look at it! :) Katie

  5. Um, I am all over the chickens!! Oh, and the tote bags of course. Frankly, I'm not sure which I'm more excited about! Those were the good old days when I practically lived on a farm, I volunteered there so often!

    Ahh, I'm SOOO glad you ladies were all able to get together in Savannah! I missed you so much but am so grateful you had that gift of fellowship together. God bless you!!

  6. Shaking my head at how a group of ladies this lovely are being totally missed out on by dudes. Come on, St. Anne, we need some gentlemen deserving of these fab gals!

    I probably would've been crazy for the chickens. My cousins have a farm in New Hampshire (never forget the time they raised some sort of "meatier" breed--scary-looking!) and my aunt's friend in northern NJ also raises them. And who could forget the scene in "Napoleon Dynamite" where he needed to make some extra cash? :)

    Great recap--great photos--wonderful times! Thank you for helping those of us who were stuck doing job-things be there vicariously. Next time, I want to go, no matter what!

  7. Love all you girls! Thank you for the amazing recap! Cindy

  8. It was so much fun! Thank you guys for arranging it! I wish we were still there!

  9. Thanks for sharing the pictures and stories of the weekend! Sounds like it was so much fun. I'm hoping that it works for me to come next year! I'm going to have to admit that I wouldn't have been that thrilled about the chickens, but then, I grew up taking care of a whole flock of chickens on a daily basis, and it gets old...especially when you have a bird phobia like I do. :)

  10. Ahh it looks like you guys had such a great time!! Hopefully in the future I can join you guys thought I am thankful that I am completely content knowing I was not meant to be there. And I would be all about the chickens. Owning chickens is in my top five things I want in (well really outside) my realistic dream house.

  11. Ahhh, the moving stair photo made me laugh out loud! So fun reading your recap and I am so happy I got to finally meet you!! Can't wait to see you again! :)

  12. The gif is awesome. I had no problem waiting, people watching at the airport is the best. Great time, can't wait to do it again!!!!!

  13. you all look SO beautiful! I'm glad you all had such an amazing time together. I'm just a shade green with envy. :) no no to those chickens. impressed you guy went near them!

  14. So fun! Glad y'all are doing a link-up so we can sorta feel like we went, too :)
    Um, chickens are great if someone else wants to take care of them. I will just enjoy the benefits, please and thank you :)

  15. You ladies had a lot of fun! I probably would've been all about the chickens. :-)

  16. Ooh... no to the chickens. They creep me out. I love fresh eggs but I love them when someone brings me some and I can stay far far away from the dinosaur relatives. Super Cute tote bag! And it seems like you had a great time!

  17. Aside from a few entries earlier on, I haven't participated much in NAS, but I've been reading along! This looks like such a fun weekend and I hope there's another someday! You ladies all seem wonderful and I hope I can get to know you!

    As for the chickens, I think they'd be pretty fun to watch. :)


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