Each Power of Moms Retreat I've attended has been magical to me. I love meeting with deliberate mothers. I love sitting in small groups and learning new ideas to make my family stronger. I love having a little break from my daily routine (even though I always return home feeling totally exhausted!).
The real power of this Retreat, however, was seeing moms AND dads coming together to focus on their specific family needs.
Where else do you see couples wrapped in conversation, talking excitedly about what their children and homes need in order to thrive? After watching what was happening around me and feeling the incredible energy, I whispered to my husband, "I've never seen anything like this in my whole life." He nodded in agreement.
Just imagining how these parents are going to go home and apply their ideas hits me at the core. I received an email this morning from a dad who attended the full Retreat, and he said this:
"Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for The Power of Moms. Since my family has been involved with this organization, our focus and priorities have drastically changed."
That made my day.
Here is a photo of Richard and Linda Eyre giving the opening Keynote address. They are fabulous presenters, but more than that, they are fabulous parents. As Saren was introducing them, she said that she could go on and on listing their accomplishments, but the main reason we wanted them to speak was because they walk the talk. After beautifully raising nine children, and being totally deliberate in the process, they have learned a wealth of skills and knowledge that they are now passing on to those of us who are still "in the trenches." (I'm reading their newest book, The Entitlement Trap, right now--and loving it!)
One of the most fun parts of the Retreat, for me, was getting a chance to present with my husband, Eric. (Please pardon the blurry camera . . . I'm going to return it.) We led a morning discussion about Parenting Partnerships--creating a strong relationship from which you can build your family.
We had so much fun working on this that we've decided to start recording more podcasts together (we've got this new idea called "Podcast Date Nights" that we'll be launching soon with our Power of Families website, so stay tuned . . .). If you haven't listened to our first podcast, Expectations in Marriage, it's available at The Power of Moms and in our Power of Moms iTunes feed.
Here's a photo my husband snapped of Saren and her husband, Jared. He is our website designer, and honestly, The Power of Moms would still be sitting inside a bunch of notebooks and Word docs if it weren't for him. Eric and I consider these amazing people as two of our closest friends.
This is Saren, presenting Family Systems with her parents. Saren is the mastermind behind these Retreats. I still get stomachaches before each one, but she is a natural, and I feel privileged to get to work with her each day. Have you seen all the cute videos she's been making for our new Deliberate Mothering series? Priceless.
Tiffany Sowby and her husband, Mike, also did an excellent job sharing some ideas about family traditions and economic principles that have worked in their family. Tiffany was the Retreat Organizer for this Couples Retreat, and she is amazingly sharp. Her blog is one of my favorites.
I had to snap a photo of this cute mom with her little sleeping baby:
And a couple more photos of my new, dear friends:
Mary Croxford and Megan Stewart are two of our Power of Moms Board members (a mother/daughter pair), and it was so fun to meet their husbands!
Koni Smith has been my friend via email for the past couple of years. She answers all of the emails that come through the website, and we were so happy to get to have her at this Retreat.
And here's Linda, Saren, Me, and Tiffany at the close of the Retreat.
If you haven't had the chance to attend a Power of Moms Retreat, I do hope you'll consider coming to one in the future. With our new Empower Program, we're doing everything we can to get the moms who really want and need this experience to have the opportunity. We'll be in New Hampshire this October, Arizona in November, California in January, and Australia in March (I'm getting my passport in a couple of weeks!).
The best part, however, was coming home to my family--and seeing this taped to my desk:
That was from Grace. I love my family.