It was hard to say goodbye to our wonderful new Aussie friends. We seriously met such fabulous people on this trip - and we know it might be quite a while before we see any of them again. But the great women who helped organize the Retreats and the media stuff we did insisted that we put 2014 on our calendar for the next round of Australian Retreats. I have a feeling we will be back there before too terribly long. But 2 years is a long time!
The flight was fine. I edited all my photos, Ashton got the rest of his homework done, April and I had a good planning meeting plus I watched most of a couple good movies (The Iron Lady and The Artist - good stuff and not movies Jared would really love watching with me - such a luxury to sit there and watch movies and have people bring snacks around every so often - but I did fall asleep through parts of them - sleep is all over the place in random snippets these days!). My seat sure got uncomfortable and it's frustrating to know you need to sleep but not really be tired at the right times. The luggage got very heavy as we trekked through airports and security lines and passport lines and customs lines. But overall, we had nothing to complain about.
After getting off the plane in a daze in LA and having to half carry Ashton off along with both of our luggage (after claiming he was NOT tired, he finally crashed hard the last hour of the flight and I had the hardest time waking him up - I almost had to ask the flight attendants for a wheelchair!), we said our fond farewells to our wonderful traveling companions, April and Alia, and got on our final flight for SLC.
Oh, it was so good to see Jared and the kids at the airport! Wow, those hugs felt good and I swear they all got way cuter and bigger (or simply more handsome in Jared's case) while we were gone. The last few days I was really getting homesick - between the time difference and conflicting schedules (Jared and the kids were heading off on their own adventures - skiing with relatives who were in town and going to the bull sale at the farm where Jared grew up Ashton and I were having all our own adventures in Australia), we were only able to find a few precious times when we could use Skype to catch up with each other. So by the end, Ashton and I were really really missing Jared and the kids!
|The kids had this beautiful banner waiting for us when we walked in the door|
Here are the kids with some of their cool Australian souvenirs (Thanks Felicity for lots of them!).
They loved the sand and sea shells and Asutralian licorice and Cadbury's "lollies" we brought back as well
(Those are mini koala and kangaroos clipped to their shirts - a bit hit!)
Now I've got piles of stuff to catch up on for Power of Moms and lots of exciting new things to pursue based on the great people and exciting new connections from this trip. Plus I need to catch up on a little more sleep (but jet lag is seeming better in this direction so far, thankfully - it was pretty brutal when we first got to Australia!). But mostly, this week is going to be about catching up with Jared, Isaac, Eliza, Oliver and Silas - while re-stocking the house with food, working on the dust that seems to have taken over the house while we've all been mostly gone, and doing all the good, basic stuff involved in being a mom.
After talking about motherhood at the two wonderful Australian Retreats, I'm just so excited to be back in the full game of motherhood myself. I love my husband and kids more than ever. I'm re-committed to so many things I talked about at the Retreat and have lots of fresh new thoughts and ideas thanks to the great Aussie moms I had the chance to talk to. I'm so grateful for the new perspectives this trip has offered about so many things! And I feel so grateful that I get to be part of The Power of Moms - it's hard, hard work but it's so worth it as I see it help me become the mom I really want to be while helping other moms - and mums - do the same.
Prior to every Retreat, especially these ones with all the travel and extra work and stress involved in our first international Retreats, I always wonder what in the heck I'm doing. I wonder if all this work and stress is worth it. But every time, especially this time, I come away from Retreats feeling so fulfilled, so empowered, so glad to be able to be a catalyst and a recipient of the beautiful experience of Retreats.
I'll get photos of the Sydney Retreat plus our site-seeing in beautiful Sydney up soon. Stay tuned!