En route to Washington D.C. Lucy and I went to St. George for the first official Power of Moms Motherhood Retreat.
Lucy was so darn good on the airplane I wanted to cry. I was carrying my regular stuff: camera, purse, computer and suitcase plus Lucy's suitcase, backpack, and car seat so I was crossing my fingers she wouldn't throw a fit and sprawl out on the floor until I picked her up (you never know with Miss Lu).But since she was as good as gold, we had a fun trip, including renting a car and driving the two hours from Las Vegas to St. George (Lucy had help being good thanks to the trusty iPod).
My nephew Ashton took care of Lucy while we were all at the retreat (with a little help from his Dad) and man oh man, Lucy got spoiled even more than she already is. That Ashton is one heck of a babysitter (Thanks, Ashie!).
Ok, so on to the retreat.
Those two days were filled to the brim with inspiration. My sister Saren and her awesome friend April did SO much to make those days meaningful for all of us thirty-three Mothers in attendance.
Their friend Allyson (on the left below) also helped a ton to put things together and did a really great presentation on "Being Enough."There were so many committed, strong women in attendance.
We were all well-fed not only from the support from one-another (everyone contributed so much in comments and discussions), but also from the healthy food at the Red Mountain Spa.
My Mom, sister and I did a little presentation on "Family Systems" one of the mornings. (We talked about having a family economy, family traditions, and a family legal system...I'll have to do a blog post about this soon.)
Oh man I love those two women.
One great surprise of the trip was that my very, very best friend from elementary school showed up (on the far right below). We "broke up" for some crazy reason in fifth grade and went our separate ways and I'm SO glad the retreat (and her friend in the middle below, now mine too...thanks Valerie!) got us reunited after all those years.
Plus my two cousins-who-are-really-Dave's-cousins-but-I-claim-them-for-my-own, Heather and Kara were there too.
Like I said back here at the other Motherhood Retreat I attended, there's no "instruction manual" for mothers. We just have to figure it out as we go. And sometimes that is tough. Sometimes it's overwhelming. Sometimes it makes you just want to cry. And there is something so comforting about having other mothers who are also "in the trenches" offer ideas and support.
One of my favorite quotes from the retreat was this new quote I hadn't heard before that someone gave from my favorite Anna Quindlen: "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
And April did an awesome job explaining the "Mind Organization for Moms" concept, and I've started implementing it more this week:
Saren did an excellent job of orienting interested mothers to do their own Motherhood Retreats where they live...so many people were wanting to do this and it made me so excited to think of the ripple effect this will have to inspire mothers all over the place. (If you're interested in learning how to do your own, click here.)
And I have to say that three of the moms who have started their own Learning Circles gave such powerful testimonials about how this simple thing has literally changed their lives. (Learning Circles are kind of like book clubs but with a thought-provoking article about Motherhood as the discussion topic instead of a book.)
Thank you, thank you, Saren and April for such a great weekend.
We bid goodbye to Saren's family who Lucy had had SO much fun with:
And Lucy and my dear Mom headed up to Northern Utah where Lucy stayed the next week while the rest of my family and I were traipsing around D.C. (my parents are my heroes even more than ever because they insisted on taking her claiming she'd slow us down in D.C...and boy howdy were they ever right. Although we all missed her like crazy, there were about 56 times where the thought ran through my mind "I'm SO glad Lucy isn't here right now!").
I drove back to Las Vegas to catch my red-eye flight to meet my family in D.C. and could hardly stand how pretty the drive was.
I know it's barren, but it takes my breath away how the mountains in this canyon almost fold into the road.
I'm in awe every time I drive it.
And then there's the sunset shimmering on the telephone wires...for some reason I just love that.
Needless to say it was a beautiful drive. And it provided me with a chance to reflect on the new things I want to implement in my home, and to call most of my siblings I hadn't talked to forever. It seems that I never get the chance to just talk and it felt so good to get semi-caught up with most of them. (When you have eight siblings that's not an easy task.)
With that, I was on my way to D.C. for some grand adventures...