So, for anyone who may not know about my sister‘s “Power of Moms” organization, let me just say that she and her business partner, April, are quite an amazing duo. I’m so proud of them and how they balance all that they are doing.

As the retreat I attended last weekend drew closer I got all kinds of emails with all kinds of information. Each time I felt a sick spot in my stomach for how much work these two (along with their wonderful board) were doing to plan and organize this event. I’m so grateful for all the hard work they put in to make everything run so well!

I’m mad I didn’t get a picture of just the two of them, but here they are each with their “tall sister.”
My parents were gracious hosts.
(That’s my sister’s new baby they were holding…I know I’m biased but seriously, I think they’re pretty cute.)

Let’s get one more look at them:
Ok, there we go.

Here’s April presenting her Mind Organization for Moms stuff that I love.And here are all the presenters from the next day:
…minus my Dad because although he did some presenting he watched everything else from his bird’s-eye-view up above:
My sisters and I sure had fun being together and getting to tell about “family systems.”At breakfast the morning before I left I explained to my children how excited I was that I got to go meet those dear sisters that I don’t get to see very often. Dave quickly shot me a nice eye-roll and reminded me that I get to hang out with them all of July at Bear Lake and we have our MFME stuff every year. But I really like them, you see, so I’ll take anything I can get 🙂
My littlest sister Charity (who isn’t really “little” any more) pretty much ran all the logistics.
She did a great job too.

Utah’s Young Mother of the Year this year was in attendance there. She is an exceptional person and I’m excited I get to meet up with her again in a couple weeks for the American Mothers national convention.
The “board” stayed for dinner one night:
Here they are again so you can see them better:
So many dedicated mothers who have given so much of their time and talents to help Power of Moms. It was so fun to get to know them better.

It was so fun to get to know so many of these moms too:
Each one I talked to was powerfully deliberate in her own way, and I learned so much from them.

Just in case you’re thinking to yourself, “Man alive, I’m so mad I missed that!” please know that there will be another very similar retreat at the same place in May. Click here for more information. And we are thinking of doing one here in the desert in the Fall in conjunction with the American Mothers Association I am part of. More info. to come on that…

One of the things I was most excited about was meeting this little guy (my sister Saydi‘s new baby Peter):
We were so fussed up with all the retreat details that we didn’t even get pictures of him ’til we got to the airport. But at least we got a couple.
As he and my sister headed off to their flight it made me feel so strange that I had no baby on my hip. I had no Lucy with her crazy antics next to me. I had no children all trying to talk to me at once. And it made me long to get home to their hugs.

The palm trees greeted me waving through the sunset back at home.
A giant yellow moon appeared above the dark horizon and followed me home where, indeed, outstretched arms and shouts of glee were waiting for me.

I am so thankful for my family.

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  1. I don't think you can ever have too much time with your sisters! My sister, luckily, lives less than 1 mile away & we are together about all day, every day. It is fun to raise our kids together & laugh about our own childhoods, etc.

    Looks like a fabulous event!

  2. I am going to BYU Women's Conference next week with all my sisters and Mom and cannot wait! I am leaving my 5 for 4 days and feeling a bit sad about it, but also a bit jubilant about having a "break" and going to a place where I know i will be uplifted and inspired to be a better Mom and person!

  3. Hi! I happened upon your blog and fell in love. You seem like a very strong woman with amazing children. I have two with autism, so I know a bit about how hard it hits you when you get the "unexpected" with children.
    I am also a 'want-to-be" photographer and am in awe with your talent. What kind of lens do you use? I would appreciate it. thank you. Shelley

  4. I just blogged about this too. 🙂 Thanks again for presenting with your family. It was fun to meet you after reading your blog for so long. You're great! 🙂

  5. Thanks for all the kind words, Shawni–and for posting the photos from the Retreat. You really do have a gift with your camera, and you do a fabulous job presenting. We're so grateful for you!

    Just in case anyone reading this post (and these comments) feels like the moms who gather for Retreats like this are always balanced and "put together," I just want to reassure them that is not the case 🙂

    Saren and Charity did the bulk of the work on this (and I am totally in awe of them), but even getting ready for my part of the Retreat gave me some serious anxiety, and it's taking me an entire week to recover.

    However, when I see the magic that's there when deliberate mothers gather, and when I feel the strength of the women in attendance, I know that this is what I need to be doing. Thank you, thank you for your encouragement. Love you.

  6. Man that was fun! Thanks for these wonderful pictures! As you know, I've been using the ones you sent but I need these others. You're amazing!

  7. What an amazing privilege to have your lifework be the strengthening and uplifting of other moms! Whatever part you and your sister, and the Power of Moms contribute, I think its so inspiring! If we each do our little part…

  8. I'll be the first to sign up if there's a retreat here in Arizona in the fall! I love your blog and all the inspiration you provide about being a better mother. Thanks!

  9. was this your parents' home? nice big windows (love the natural light)! Lots in attendance, you will be hanging with my mom in Utah next week at the AMI Nat'l convention. I'd love to hear more about your fall retreat.

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