What surprised me during the retreat was the amount of emotional pain I felt for other women, their children, and from my own traumatic past. It was HARD hearing what these women are going through, mostly from having RADical children, but also hearing what they experienced growing up in difficult circumstances. I tend to take other people's emotions upon myself, and this proved overwhelming in the midst of these strong women, who have faced so much. I am sad for those women who experienced abuse in their childhoods. I am sad for those women who have children who cause them pain. I am sad for those women whose extended families do not support them. I know that our trials make us stronger. I hope that I can learn from my trials and uplift others the way that these women have for me. BIG THANKS to Diana for inviting me to the retreat. It was a life-changing event.
I roomed with Valerie and Shellie. We had many long talks. Some were serious and painful, others were light-hearted. I am grateful for the laughter we had during the week. Before I attended the retreat, I had had several heat rashes back-to-back over two months of the summer. I prayed that they would go away so I could enjoy the retreat. They did...but due to several flights of stairs at the location, I got two before the retreat ended. I also struggled due to the dryness and elevation (which caused headaches). Despite these physical issues, I am grateful I attended the retreat. The women who attended were worth knowing! I am feeling blessed that I could attend. Here are some pictures.
Henna was all the rage at the retreat. Having watched so many Bollywood movies, I was super excited to have some henna painted on my foot. Amina did a fabulous job. (Note: this is not a tattoo, it is ink that you put on, it dries and falls off, then the ink fades away over a week or two).
My Mexican friend, Yoxani. It was fun breaking out the espanol during the retreat.
Sue was super fun to get to know.
Wendi inspired me with her difficult struggles.
My roomie, Shellie! I just KNEW I was going to love her, and I do!
Christina is holding up our puzzle pieces that we each designed. Mine said: BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED. That is my motto. :)
Dee was super fun at the retreat. She was always smiling!
Valerie and Breanna outside in these comfy chairs.
Me talking with Wendi. I love my HOPE RISING t-shirt.
Beautiful views out the back door!
Me sitting with Jacqueline & Breanna.
Only in UT would you have an aunt and niece sitting side-by-side and they look the same age. ;)
Another shot of my henna.
Sue, Amina, Melissa, Breanna, & Dee
Kelly, Jenny, Wendi, Valerie, Yoxani, Amy S, Jill, Shellie, Candice, Jacqueline, Cyndi, Melissa, Sage, Kim, Christina, Emily , Sue, Breanna, Dee, Diana, Fay, Amy H, Gala, Amina
Diana showing her HULK therapy. It's a great way to get out the anger for adults and children.
Me and Amina. I really liked getting to know her. She's amazing! And she's Indian and from Canada. She rocks the Bollywood moves!
Me and Amy H.
Yoxani and I. Isn't she lovely?!
Out for dinner. Yum!
Gala getting some henna action.
The bunkhouse - where I slept (on the second floor). Note the rock steps going down. There were LOTS of stairs...
The lodge. It was HUGE!
After the retreat was over, my cousin, Kirsti, picked me up and took me to her house. I went to church with her lovely family and then we had a dinner with all the local cousins. We had a GREAT time playing games, eating chili, and laughing...a LOT of laughing!
Carina and I
Brianne & I
Marissa & I
Marissa & her new hubby!
Kirsti & I
Sunday night, Sarah came and picked me up and took me to her house. We played games and chatted. I should also mention that Sarah picked me up from the airport, when Valerie and I flew in, and we spent the day playing. We ate at Cafe Rio and also Tucanos that day, plus we got a pedicure AND a 45 minute swedish massage! Fun times!
So, I went to Sarah's house on Sunday and on Monday, she took me to the airport to fly home. (Valerie met me there after spending some time with her family in UT)
Sarah & I at KNEADER'S for breakfast. Their French toast was awesome!
Look how THICK that bread is!
This is Peyton. He loved snuggling up to me when I was there. I am usually not a fan of big dogs, but I liked Peyton a lot.
Playing TICKET TO RIDE.
Sarah LOVES these mountains. She lives on a farm and it is so fun!
Frantic to find a Beto's, we found one near the airport before I flew out. Their quesadillas and horchata are fabuloso!
This is Valerie and I after our red-eye flight home to Ohio. It's good to be home!