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by Shawni
My Mom and sisters came to visit the desert a couple weeks ago.

Oh how I adore these women.  It’s like Christmas morning when we get together…serious therapy for my soul.  
Let’s just pretend that my mother was actually placed better in that picture up there…she needs to be front and center…or let’s just imagine we’re carrying her on our shoulders or something in deep gratitude for who she is, what she represents, what she’s taught us over the years, how much we adore her and how she works to orchestrate getting us together from all over the place each year.
This “MFME” dealio (that stands for “mothers and future mothers of eyrealm”) ideally happens with the sister-in-laws too but they each had some pretty big conflicts this spring.  When we get together we discuss books and thoughts and ideas and food.  We talk a lot about food.  We’re weird that way (and in a lot of other ways too…).
My sister Charity did a great write-up of this over HERE, and my sister Saydi wrote up the details over HERE but for record’s sake here’s my perspective:

Saydi and her daughter Hazel arrived first.  They are in the midst of some serous snow in Boston so they came early and left late to thaw out their bones a little bit.

Much to Claire’s delight I picked her up from school early and we went into the big city for a mother/daughter lunch and checked into our hotel early to swim and bask in the sun.

Saydi and I did a little synchronized swimming with our girls (“add-ons”) after some long poolside discussions and I’m pretty sure they thought they think we are now rock stars 🙂  Ha!

That night Charity came.  My kids hadn’t seen her since before she was married (back HERE), so it was an extra joyous reunion.

The first night we stayed at a hotel and talked all night and then all day.  We discussed our deep-rooted desires, the “word” we are all working on in some way or another (ENJOY).  Each of us seems to want to go against the current in life in many ways and we tried to dissect why as we marched around the lazy river the wrong way to push ourselves and get exercise. Hmmmm…kind of ironic.

We took the most gorgeous hike.  It’s taken me some years to get used to minimal “seasons” and the beauty of the desert but boy it’s grown on me, and I love to share it.

I’m not sure how three of us ended up in skirts for the hike but there we were, comfy and cool in the gorgeous desert.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story on the hike.  (Saydi took those first two beauties and some of these are from Saren too.)

We could hardly bear to peel ourselves away it was so gorgeous as the sun sunk down behind those saguaros creating the most beautiful silhouettes we could never quite capture on our iPhones.
We joined up with the beautiful younger ladies for church the next day:

These two had had quite the time at our house while we were gone…nothing like getting cousins together.

I love cooking with my sisters.  Claire had the brilliant idea to set up this time-laps video while we cooked and I love it.  Love that it shows a little snippet into how we work together.

My sisters and mom are all great cooks.  I love to glean from their know-how in the kitchen.

And of course I had to put my camera to use…

We took a little trip to the temple to discuss a beautiful talk my mom had sent us before we gathered.

But it was suddenly so darn chilly we relocated to a little warmer spot: 

The article we discussed was all about “Grace” and it is HERE (or you can watch it HERE).  So many treasures and things to think about there.

We visited my brother and had lunch with him the next day.

And one by one those amazing ladies I get to be related to had to trickle out back to their own lives.

Luckily we got Saydi and Hazel for a little extra bonus time so we could do the FHE-in-our-pjs-to-go get-frozen-yogurt-together deal.

…and Sayds and I fit in one more gorgeous hike.

We almost made it to the very top.  It was against everything in us to not make it all the way when it was this close:

But we were in a time crunch to get back to the little girls and the airport so we enjoyed our little perch near the top before we turned around.

And continued our velvety conversations back down.

So hard to say goodbye, but we all left feeling so empowered and bonded and filled with love.  And more grateful than ever for each other.


Brittany March 12, 2015 - 1:00 pm

I love that you do this! You are all so inspiring individually and together. Thank you for sharing!

Tyra March 12, 2015 - 4:26 pm

How fun! Please tell me you guys all meant to color coordinate in your dresses cause if not that was a great coincidence and I know this is off subject but in your last hiking picture I noticed you have pretty nice toned arms, I know you do a lot of hiking and eating well but do you do other workouts with weights? I love girl time and it looks like you guys had a good time.

cheryl cardall March 12, 2015 - 4:40 pm

Looks so fun! The link to the talk on Grace didn't work for me?? I would love to read it!

andee March 12, 2015 - 5:34 pm

I think these "retreats" you have are wonderful. They certainly require a lot of planning and time to pull together, but so worth it for the strengthened relationships that come as a result.

Eyrealm March 13, 2015 - 3:41 am

That was a stunning weekend! LOVED IT!

Annika March 13, 2015 - 5:06 pm

The time laps video is a great idea! And i love the dark blue couch. 🙂 My fave color.

What a wonderful thing to be able to spend some time with just the girls!

Jenn Nielsen March 13, 2015 - 6:40 pm

Wow! Those photos of the desert are GORGEOUS! I especially love the one with the green foreground, purple mountains, and beautiful sunset! It would make a fabulous desktop wallpaper!

branches 'n' twigs March 13, 2015 - 7:24 pm

Your desert pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Raquel March 13, 2015 - 8:10 pm

What a wonderful weekend! Do you think your mom would be interested in adopting another daughter? Or perhaps she would hire herself out – my sisters and I would love to be 'fed' like that for a weekend.

Kori March 15, 2015 - 3:15 am

The link for the "grace" talk isn't working. Can you redo it or just tell us the name and author so I can look it up please.

Taylor Yves March 16, 2015 - 1:48 am

Women's friendship within a family is awesome, but do you ever think the group name is a bit much? It's a lot of pressure for all women to be deemed mothers or "future mothers."

Anna T. March 17, 2015 - 12:53 am

I agree with Taylor. For those of us with no control over "our highest and best purpose in this life" MFME style labels within our own families compound the pain of infertility. (Even WITH an eternal perspective that we can all be mothers.) I bet you or grandma Eyre will wish you had just changed it to "Eyre women rock just because we are daughters of God regardless of our ability or choice to spawn" when one of your sweet daughters struggles with this.

Anna T. March 17, 2015 - 12:53 am

Also, I know you avoid GOMI for good reason, but there are some good perspectives on this there today.

kambamjo March 19, 2015 - 11:05 pm

I LOVE reading your blog and being inspired by you. Thank you for sharing all that you do. We will be coming to Mesa for my son's golf tournament in a couple of weeks and I would love to take them hiking. You seem to have great places that you enjoy going. Would you mind sharing some of them if you have time? Thank you!!


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