Last weekend, I got to spend three and a half precious days with my mom, my 3 sisters and my 4 sisters-in-law in Laguna Beach, CA.
My mom decided to use the money her wonderful, frugal, hard-working mother left for her to enable us to get together for an MFME (Mothers and Future Mothers of Eyrealm) retreat at least every other year. The purpose is to get away to gain perspective, have fun, and fill each other up so we can be the moms and wives and people we want and need to be. (And this idea of my mom's is what spurred Power of Moms Retreats.)
Since we live in NYC, Boston, DC, San Diego, San Francisco, Hawaii, Phoenix and Utah, it's a trick finding a place we can all fly into with direct flights and cheapish airfares. LA proved to be the best option this year. And wow, were we ever blessed with amazing weather! the high 70's and low 80's felt heavenly!
We hung out on the beautiful deck of the very-cool eco-friendly house we rented (up the canyon about a mile from the beach), enjoyed the beach, ate at wonderful restaurants, made cookies (a must at an Eyre get-together), went for some great runs and walks, took turns coaxing great smiles and coos out of Julie and Eli's adorable first baby Zara, oohed and ahhed over the beautiful architecture, fun details and lovely plants and landscaping all around, and talked, talked, talked, talked, talked.
The house where we stayed:
Talking on the deck:
On a walk around the neighborhood:
Morning run and yoga on the beach:
Enjoying the sunset:
Talking on the beach:
Wandering around Laguna Beach and watching a parade:
Eating way too much yummy food: (and my dad popped in to surprise us for a few hours!)
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION:
We reported back on the daily scripture reading challenge we agreed to when we were together last summer at Bear Lake (and I got a prize - a beautiful candle - for keeping up with my reading and reporting on it every week on my blog here!). We shared our "best" and "worst" about the previous year. We laughed until we cried about things our kids have said and done and crazy moments we've each had. We recorded a podcast for Power of Moms about some of our most ridiculous "mom moments." We all read "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindberg and discussed that along with really interesting articles that each of us submitted for everyone to read in advance. And we talked about food - a lot. In honor of the fact that we're all pretty into food, Julie gathered everyone's favorite recipes from the past year and put them all together for each of us. Yeah Julie!
And we came away with a new challenge that we'll all follow up on each other about. Inspired by "Gift from the Sea" as well as many points from the articles we read, we're all going to set aside 10 minutes a day, one hour a week, and 3 hours a month to really fill ourselves up - to meditate, to pray, to learn something new, to do something that's purely about self-development and/or relaxation. We realized we all could use more dedicated time for just being rather than focusing so much on doing.
Here are some personal resolutions I made on top of our joint resolution:
I will take time to think every day - not just about what to do, but about who to be.
I will do something every day that fills me up and teaches me something new or reminds me of something important. I'm always pouring out and pouring out without filling up leads to some meager offerings and some serious depletion.
I will stop beating myself up about not being all things to all people all the time. I'll more fully embrace the great concepts in these posts that have really changed my thinking and actions lately:
- How to be all Things to all People (Get rid of guilt by telling people what your heart wishes you could do, then explaining what will actually work for you and what won't)
- Drops of Awesome (Realize that every little good thing we do is a drop of awesome that can only build, and cannot be depleted when we omit something or do something bad; realize that the Atonement takes care of the many many many drops it takes to go from our best efforts to what it takes to be what God wants and needs us to be)
I will stop trying so hard to suck the marrow out of every day and every experience. I can't really enjoy life when I'm trying so hard to enjoy life. Enjoying comes from sitting back, taking in, accepting what comes, loving what comes.
I will stop trying so hard to stretch myself and cover all that I feel I need to be covering. I'm stretching myself too thin too often and all that stretching is often not adding up to all that much in the end. As the instructor said in my yoga class the other day, "you can't really stretch until you relax. Once you really relax, you can really stretch." As she said that, a light bulb went on in my head. I'm trying too hard! I'm overthinking things! As I focus on RELAXING, not stretching, I'll actually be able to stretch in the ways I need to stretch.
Love this post by Saydi - she captured things so well and brought tears to my eyes:
Love this post by Charity too:
Eyre Girls Hit Laguna Beach
And on a much lighter note, here's a video Aja made. Can you tell that we couldn't hear the music? We just did what Aja instructed us to do w/o really having a clue what we were doing...But actually the words to the music go pretty well with our weekend...