I decided long ago that co-hosting a Power of Moms Motherhood Retreat would be the best way to honor this stewardship I got back here. The American Mothers Inc. has pretty much the same goals as Power of Moms does and together the two organizations can be a powerful force to be reckoned with.
So my sister and her Power of Moms business partner April came to town for our big joint motherhood retreat the weekend before Thanksgiving (the one I talked about back here).
We had been cramming in planning and all that jazz for a while. I use the word "we" liberally because while I helped by doing my volunteer work on the sidelines, these girls were the true force behind all the work. They really, truly amaze me. I adore them and all that they are doing to help mothers feel empowered all over the world.
The first day we hosted the "Mind Organization for Moms" part of the retreat at my house:
It was a smaller group so we figured we could do it here and boy we sure filled up my family room. We used every single chair in my whole house.
April was amazing with her mind organization as usual:
Honestly this girl knows her stuff.
The next day we hosted the main event at my friend Nichole's beautiful home. (She's the second one in from the right.)
She was so incredibly kind to let us take over for a day. Her husband and boys even moved out all the family room furniture so we could fit everyone in.
This was the panel of presenters:Janeen, the president of our local chapter of American Mothers (on the right above), gave the keynote address. April wrote up a transcript of it here.
It was fabulous.
Check out all these deliberate mothers:
They were so empowering to me. Their ideas and enthusiasm for motherhood was inspiring and I loved getting to know so many of them.
This company gave us an awesome lunch deal:
Second to the left below is the winner of the give-away I did here...It was so fun to meet her.
We discussed all day ways to be more deliberate in our mothering and to create family systems. I hope people were not too overwhelmed with the overload of information! There was a lot of it coming from everyone....so many great ideas.
These American Mothers ladies did some serious work of their own to orchestrate a meaningful service project during lunch.We put the kits together for a shelter for expectant mothers called "Maggie's Place" (started by two really amazing ladies...read about it here) and it was a really, really neat experience mostly because of the story Janeen shared from when she was at Walmart buying supplies:
She had been frustrated and late to an appointment and flustered at the checkout. The cute young girl ringing her up asked what the deal was with all the baby products. When Janeen told her she went on rhetorically asking, "can you imagine being pregnant and scared and having nowhere to go and then finding a shelter like that that would take care of you?"
The girl checking her out looked up at her with tears in her eyes and said, "Yes. I was one of those girls in that same situation. A shelter like that took me under their wing." She went on to explain how her "baby" is now three-and-a-half years old and that she is able to support him herself thanks to all the support she got from such a great organization.
It was so fun to watch the kits come together...
As the moms at the retreat put together the kits others wrote encouraging notes to the expectant mothers. I think that was the most meaningful part for many of them.I'm excited that I think I get to take my girls to help deliver them.
What a day.
April and Saren stayed for the weekend. Grace and my other girls were ecstatic because she and April's daughter (also named Grace) have been communicating through their blogs for a while now. They were so excited to meet each other and to have sleepovers each night.
Please examine Lucy's face in that picture and imagine how fun it is for us to squeeze those cheeks. Yep. I love them. And I love how all these cute girls got along so well.
The things I'm really mad at myself for not getting pictures of was my computer screen at 1:45 a.m. when April had worked all night to help me literally empty thousands of emails from my in-box. She sure put that Mind Organization to work and now I'm working on keeping up with it because it's an amazing program.
And I'm super duper mad I didn't get one picture of my sister with my kids. It was so fun for them to get to soak her in for a few days. She took them on walks and even rode Grace's bike home from school for her one day. Oh wait, I did get a pic. of that on my iPhone:Love that sister of mine. She wrote up a little history of sisterhood over here that I loved.