Tuesday, May 31, 2011

POM Retreats

Kind of a big thing that happened in the last two months were the fabulous one day Power of Moms retreats up at the Eyre's house in Park City--one in April and one in May. (And if you don't know about the Eyres, values parenting, and haven't read any of their books, here's their website. I just love their philosophy!) The Eyre's travel all over the world teaching their great parenting curriculum to all sorts of people in all sorts of places, they also lived in England for a time as mission presidents for our church, and they've done a bunch of humanitarian work in various countries as well.  As a result, they have some pretty cool stuff in their house, not the least of which is their fireplace mantel from Bali that you'll see in the pictures below. 

With the exception of the camera man, Richard was the only man in the group of over 100 women, and as the man of the house, he seemed to be really enjoying himself. My favorite moments were when he ripped off his top shirt to expose his "serendipity" t-shirt underneath, and when he rode in on a horse and delivered a presentation as "Tex". He's a crack-up:
His wife Linda couldn't be more kind and down to earth. She always makes me feel like a million bucks:
All four daughters were at the April retreat, and these are the three that are moms--Saren, Saydi, and Shawni:
Saren and April, co-founders of the website:

They also have FIVE sons, but here are all the Eyre girls together:  

A picture of all of us that presented at the May retreat. I think I look like a fat midget on a bad hair day standing next to tall, graceful Shawni--National Young Mother of the Year--but that's how the cookie crumbles:
We had just come home from our spring break at Arches the day before, so I think I look just about how I felt in this picture (tired and worked over!), but I like to remember the fun I had with Lindsay, one of our board members that I met at our first retreat in St. George last year. She gave birth a few weeks after this was taken, and her face is still skinnier than mine! Waaahhhh:
These next pictures are from the April retreat a few weeks ago. (FYI, Saren was named after Richard's favorite word, "Serendipity.")

My cute neighbor, Jen, went with me. The same one whose husband saved me from the axe murderer while Brandon was out of town. And we both graduated in 1989, so we rock:
Tiffany is another good Power of Moms friend (on the board) that I also met at the first retreat in St. George. One of my favorite things about my work with this group is all the fantastic women I've been able to meet and get to know:
We've been getting some really good press lately! Here's a clip from the Salt Lake morning show, Studio 5, and the same show did a "best of" at the end of their Mother's Day week and named The Power of Moms the "most inspirational" website for mothers. Isn't that coo!?

Speaking of motherhood, I need to get some dinner made, laundry folded, costumes prepared for the dance festival tomorrow (does anyone else wonder why we do these things at school? if I want my child to learn to dance, I'll sign them up for dance lessons after school, right? sorry to be the party pooper . . . .) get Kate to a harp lesson, get the little girls bathed, everyone in bed at a decent hour so Jen (above) and I can plan out the next month of cub scout activities. Ah, motherhood!  The job that never ends.  

Here's today's post about wether or not having kids makes us happy.  Leave a comment! Please? 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Smorgasbord of Goodness

Brandon gave me a luxuriously large amount of time today to catch up on "stuff," and I unearthed all kinds of goodness from my inbox. Here are some of my favorites:

On the power of words.

Two (here 2) of the latest "I'm Mormon" videos.  (A lot of people have been critical of these videos, saying it's a joke to suggest there is any sort of diversity among Mormons--supposedly we're all a bunch of whiteys living in Utah, like me!--but my best response to that is: Glenn Beck & Harry Reid. Need I say more?)

I dare you to not to shed a tear at the end of this.  I know Bocelli has done it, Paul Potts wowed Simon Cowell doing it, and there are actually even several videos of Pavarotti himself doing it at different times and in different places--but this one is my favorite. (High drama at the end.)

Brene Brown is my new favorite person. Watch her TED talk a little lower on the page.

If you watch nothing else from this blog post, watch THIS.  If this doesn't touch you, there is something seriously wrong with you.

(And you'll have 7 years of bad luck if you don't forward this to 13 people . . .)

Sweet Sixteen: Day 3

Because you know our life is nothing but rock concerts and oceanside vacations, here are the pics from Day 3 of our anniversary trip.  We spent most of the day down on the beach by our hotel:

That's a little couple smooching back there:

I happened to see this as I was walking along looking at rocks and shells:
Anyone have any clue what this could be?  I'm pretty sure it's a crustacean, but what? (Bethany?)
We couldn't tell if it wanted to stay in it's little cocoon or if it was trying to get out:
In the end, Brandon helped it out:
Lobster, anyone?
After throwing it out to sea . . . (hope we did the right thing!)

Someday I'm going to take a "photographing nature" class. As a teenager, I dreamed of traveling the world as a National Geographic photographer. Hmmm . . . slightly different life than I'd envisioned. (Photographing my kids is kind of like photographing wildlife, right?) But more than animals, it's the landscapes and up close shots of nature that I love:
Just wish I knew better what to do with light.  I need to take a class!!!

After changing out of our suits, we headed out for our evening plans, taking a little unplanned pit stop at another beach that sounded promising. (Isn't that the beauty of vacations? Doing what you want, when you want to do it. Was it really already a month ago? Sigh . . .)

One of my favorite things about going to beach is that there is always someone there doing something kooky. In this case, it was a guy being photographed in the surf wearing a full suit. Whatever churns your butter, dude:

Love this one:

We decided we'd like to buy this place when we're rich and retired:
You can get one of these down the street from us:
We wanted to watch the sunset, but we had a reservation at this place, up in the trees:
Passing by the cute little barn full of goodies from the day before:

I stood up with my head sticking out of the sunroof for this one:
Here we are:
Lilacs always remind me of my dad, who for as long as I can remember has snuck out early in the morning on Mother's Day to find some blooming somewhere in the neighborhood so he could pluck off a little bunch for my mother. Isn't that just the cutest? (If not illegal trespassing.)

Groups large and small reserve their own private mineral spring hot tubs up in the trees:

Brandon having a Zen moment. (Before the earthquake hit and we had to hit the emergency shut-off switch. JK) Nice farmer tan, Bran:
Such a fun fuinki (Japanese for "atmosphere"--I want to Americanize this word because it's so fun to say) up there, especially once the sun went down and we could see the stars and hear little animals creeping around.

Only one day of painful bliss left . . .
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