This report is courtesy of April’s blog. You can view her original post HERE.
The day of the Retreat, Saren, Susan, Sarah, and I arrived a bit early to set up the room where we’d be holding our sessions and greet the moms as they arrived to the hotel. (Sarah and Susan were at our St. George Retreat, and now they’re Power of Moms Trainers–it’s nothing short of heartwarming to watch them in action.)
(See those cute brown sacks in the background? Those are homemade treats that Sarah and Susan made that we got to eat that evening. I was in HEAVEN.)
We had “speed friend-shipping” in the lobby of the hotel, where each mom has a half-sheet of paper with questions to ask the other moms. We pair up for five minutes each and get to know a bit about each other using some fun questions. Pretty quickly, we all felt like great friends!
I’m pretty sure I squealed when we walked into our hotel room. You see, I NEVER stay in places like this. Our family generally camps, stays with friends, or finds the least expensive hotel room available if we’re traveling long distances. But I must say, staying in a beautiful room–complete with an ocean view and a private balcony–did something unique for my spirits. I loved every minute of it.
After our first sessions where we delved into the subject of, “Taking Care of the Person Inside the Mom,” (by me and Saren) and “Making the Time,” (by Sarah…which was fabulous!), we all took a little walk to the shore to eat dinner at an incredible restaurant called Mahe’s. The stairs weren’t exactly stroller-friendly, but we had lots of extra hands to help out.
At dinner, we had four table topics–Family Traditions, Finding Joy in Motherhood, Tips and Tricks to Run the Home (and get the family to help), and Capturing Teaching Moments. Two trainers sat at each table, and then our Retreat participants chose which topics they’d like to discuss. We had some great discussions.
On the way back from dinner, we stopped for a group photos. Looking at this makes me miss all my new friends!
Our evening session Friday night was a “Picking Your Priorities Panel.” Susan, Kelly, and Sarah Chapman are in the middle. Kelly is the mother of thirteen children, and she is full of incredible wisdom. Susan and Sarah are two of her daughters-in-law. We were thrilled to have all of them with us.
During this session, we talked about focusing on the relationships in our lives–that’s what’s most important, after all.
Here are a few pictures from our breakfast buffet at the Vue restaurant located on the bottom floor of the hotel. I think we were all in heaven being able to enjoy a lovely breakfast that we didn’t have to prepare and that didn’t involve anyone spilling milk or needing their food cut up.
Saren did an outstanding job with her Family Systems session that morning. I took copious notes, and I can’t wait to more fully implement her ideas for a family legal system, economy, and culture. The Eyre family has beautiful traditions, and I’m anxious to develop more within my own family. I also realized that our family rules aren’t clearly defined or posted anywhere in the home. Gotta get on that….
Susan conducted a beautiful session regarding family love languages. I’d heard of the book, but I never took the time to identify each family member’s preferred way to receive love (Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, or Acts of Service). Here Susan is showing us a board she made to help her focus on each of her family members’ needs.
Here’s our lunch set-up on the front lawn of the hotel. They had weddings out here each day, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
Once our wonderful Retreat came to an end, I packed up my bags, drove an hour to get home, and was greeted with this beautiful sight:
As much as I loved the time I spent in Dana Point, and as much as I love working on The Power of Moms, my REAL joy is right here.
For another great report on this September 2010 Retreat by one of the attendees, check out Erin’s blog post HERE.