Happy Mother’s Day

My Mother’s Day began early this year. Andy sent me to the Smokies with my dear friend Holly. My friend, Anica, started her own retreat company called, “Soul Adventure Wellness.” This was her first one and it was a success! She hired Lindsay Durrant (another bestie) to do the food and she did not go wrong. Lindsay spent months perfecting the healthy meals that she provided for us and you could taste it. I’m sure part of the delectability was from the sheer fact that I didn’t have to make a single thing while I was there, or clean it up, but goodness it was good. Fresh, filling, and flavorful. I have a couple of pictures of her food here, but I’m hoping she’ll compile them all and share the recipes, because these are meals that need repeating.

Aside from eating delicious food, I also got time to paint! Nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by God’s art: nature. I could probably have a retreat where all we did was paint, but I really enjoyed the physical activities involved in the retreat because sitting and painting for hours on end can be hard on your body in all the wrong ways.

Here are some of the beautiful snapshots of the inspiring nature around me. These first set of photos were taken with my apple phone, but the next set were taken by Steph Secrist. I thought about taking more, but she was taking so many, I knew that hers, with her awesome camera and talent, would turn out better, so instead I strove to live in the moment. That was another freeing thing that added to the amazing retreat.

And of course, the main event: Yoga! The whole reason for the retreat! It was amazing! We generally had an intense yoga in the morning and cool down/ stretch yoga in the evening– a perfect combination! One aspect of the retreat that I really appreciated was how much more I learned about yoga. We made mala beads on the first day to help us focus on our meditation. For someone like me, whose mind wanders almost constantly, counting the beads while focusing on your mantra or affirmation, really helped me in my meditation. Truthfully, I’ve only tried to meditate once this week… I’ve been really tired and really busy, but even in that short moment I was amazed at how much easier it was to focus as I counted the beads in my hand.

Anica and JJ, her friend and other yoga specialist, were very knowledgeable and skilled at yoga and instructing yoga. They offered moderations for those who were beginning, and extensions for those who wanted to progress further in their practice and flexibility. My favorite new thing is the sound bath. While I had used them to meditate during Andy’s residency, lying there in shavasana with them playing around me was absolutely heavenly. There is a lot more to the sound bowls than I had known about previously, but their effect was definitely noticeable. Sunday morning I woke up with a nasty migraine (too many amazing late nights catching up with friends and early mornings doing hikes and yoga). JJ got to work on my head right away. She massaged the base of my skull and I swear if she had continued on, my migraine would’ve left completely. She placed the cold Tibetan bowl on my forehead and played it for a while, the vibrations calming my throbbing head. It was truly healing and felt so good. I could’ve laid there all day. There was also a level of nurturing that was truly touching as she helped treat my migraine. I struggle to accept help from others, but accepting her help at that moment was both humbling and touching. I left feeling cared for and loved.

We started Saturday morning with a hike in the rain. The rain did not dampen the experience, but maybe even added to it. It felt refreshing. We were all drenched, but no one had a bad attitude. I loved the cool feeling of the rain on my skin as we moved up the mountain. Though it was too cloudy to see the inspiration at inspiration point, drinking in the clouds was healing in its own right. The cascading stream along the hike brought a soothing ambiance and beauty.

My favorite part of the whole experience was the connection. All the women that went there left feeling closer to each other. We were vulnerable, accepting, and loving to one another. We shared things with these new friends that we may not have shared with our close friends before this trip. We cried, we laughed, and so many hearts were heard. I told Andy that it felt a bit like Girl’s camp for moms. This sounds cheesy, but that’s really how it was. I grew to love a sister in my ward that I really didn’t know before this trip aside from an occasional conversation. I grew to appreciate other personalities that I maybe hadn’t seen in a certain light before. The best part was reconnecting with my bestie from Jr. High, High school, and college. She reminded me that we have been friends for 25 years! That’s saying something! I feel so blessed to have met her in Jr. High and so blessed that we continued to be friends. She has been the light at the end of the tunnel for medical training as her husband went through it too. We have continued to reminisce on old funny memories and heal from harder ones. I’m so very grateful for her continued presence in my life, even if we are on opposite ends of the country.

With Mom away, the kids and dad play. Before I left, Maverick said to me, “I’m sad you’re leaving, but I’m really excited to have fun with dad.” It was good for everyone. Dad got some quality time with the kids, and I got some major relaxation, girl time, and delicious food up in the smokies. The kids had a full weekend planned with Dad. First, Bev got one on one time with him while our dear babysitter, Izzy, watched the boys. He took her to get her pictures for dance and even did her makeup and hair. I’m excited to see how the pictures turned out. Friday, they had pizza and a movie followed by a sleepover in the living room. Saturday they got a new bike for Maverick and learned how to bike in the rain. Then they finished the night with all you can eat sushi at Izumi’s. And yes, that’s octopus in Harvey’s mouth. Apparently it was his favorite! When I pulled up from my weekend away, the kids all ran to greet me because they were already outside getting as much biking time in as they could. They’ve continued that trend all week and bike every chance they can after school.

I truly love being my kids’ mom. I’m so grateful they chose to be a part of my family and continue to forgive me when I screw up. They are such good examples of unconditional love and I am learning so much from them. I thought I was doing pretty good as a person before I got married, then I married and realized I had a lot of rough edges that needed refining, then I had children and realized I was pokey all over. I hope they can forgive me as I work on smoothing out my rougher parts and do my best to love them and be a mom that they need.

Leave a Reply