Our Gold Coast Retreat was a fabulous experience, and I've included most of my photos below:
First of all, this is Felicity and Alia at the registration. Felicity is the amazing mum who helped these Australia retreats come together. We just can't thank her enough.
Here are some photos taken during our "Speed Friend-shipping."
Saren and I were so excited to bring our 12-year-olds (Alia and Ashton) with us:
Our Friday session focused on Taking Care of the Person Inside the Mom:
We had lots of great group discussions:
I need to do a whole post about our amazing caterers. Here are some photos from our "Afternoon Tea." (That's what they call snack time here). Aren't they beautiful?
On Friday night, we played some fun games together, and it was wonderful to just relax and laugh with new friends.
Reverse Charades is one of my new favorite games. Alia and Ashton helped run the logistics, and the mums who participated were hilarious!
Felicity's mum and sisters got to be there, as well, and it was wonderful to meet them!
Here's a photo of me, Felicity, Naomi, and Saren:
Honestly, I miss these mums already. It's helpful to have photos to look at, but I just wish we were all neighbors.
More small group discussions from Saturday:
Our darling caterers made this lovely "Power of Moms" sign for the serving table (I brought it home with me . . . it makes me smile):
Even the forks were cute!
Here are a couple more photos of the delicious food (I could never create something like this on my own in a million years):
Alia helped pass out Saturday's treats for Morning Tea:
These bags melted my heart. Power of Moms was just a dream five years ago . . . and now our logo is on darling bags passed out to mums in Australia.
Ashton helped Saren run her PowerPoint slides for Family Systems:
And this is one of our panels--featuring Naomi, Vanessa, and Nadene (three wonderful women!):
And here are several more photos from Saturday afternoon:
Felicity's sister Melissa took some wonderful photos and posted them on her blog, Backchat. I know this blog post is getting incredibly long, but I'll post the photos here--just so I can see them all in one place:
The Sunday after the Gold Coast Retreat, we went to church and loved the people who greeted us there so warmly. It was fun to hear the hymns sung with an Australian accent.
Then we took a few hours on Sunday afternoon to drive to O'Reilley's, where they have a tree-top walk. You can climb up two ladders like the one pictured below and see everything above the rainforest there.
We were driving along the road and there were THREE wild kangaroos standing there. We felt like the paparazzi!
We are so grateful that we had the chance to visit the Gold Coast. I want to write more, but Spencer needs help stapling a card he wants to send to his Grandmother, and he is jumping up and down on my lap. He's also begging me to get him a kangaroo. (I wish!)
Saren has written a report on the Sydney Retreat on her blog, so please check that if you'd like to see more photos . . . and I'll keep posting more photos over the next week or so.
Have a wonderful day!