So Cal Retreat Day One

We arrived at the magnificent Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point to get situated and to setup our room and finalize last minute details. I was so giddy to meet everyone and was just ready to “jump in” and learn lots of fun things. But first we did a speed friendshipping game with everyone to get to know eachother.


The Whole Group together


Heather Cowdell, Amy Chapman (SIL) and Emily Cowdell

Erin Rollins, Ann Morley and Melissa and Benjamin Beck

Susan and I did some prep work beforehand. We made cute nametags and bought folders for their paperwork. We made “homemade goodie bags” filled with BYU mint brownies, carmeled/chocolate popcorn, toffee, and homemade bread and jam! We wanted them to feel “at home” but also pampered so these treats were a hit!

We began the sessions on, “Taking Care of the Person inside the Mom” and “Finding the Time” which we discussed all that we put on ourselves and what we do to make us first in our life so that we have more to give to those around us.

My session was on “Finding the Time” and it went over very well. I was pleased with how it turned out and feel a little bit more confident in myself in my presenting skills. I shared with them my typical daily schedule that I try by best to follow each day and how they can make time for themselves throughout the day.

My Daily Schedule

I brought up my nap that I wrote about here and realized that some need it and others don’t in order to get through their day. It was a great session to bounce off ideas and how other’s structure their day. I also shared with them my “Routines and Responsibilities” section of the M.O.M. and how each household needs this.

I briefly discussed the Accountable Kids system that I use for teaching my children chores and accountability. This system goes right along with Saren’s session on Family Systems. We also touched on a book written by Merrilee Boyack with is phenomenal which is called, “Parenting Breakthrough”

The Wall System for Accountable Kids

One Ticket equals list

Free Activity List

After my session we walked down to this amazing restaurant called, Mahe, and sat outside which was a beautiful evening and had yummy food. We started table topics and I lead the “Family Traditions” topic. These moms are just great and their insight was what I needed because this topic is a weakness of mine.

That evening we went back to the room and had our last session of the night about “Picking your Priorities” which was a panel discussion with myself, Susan, my MIL Kelly, April and Saren. It was a great discussion on various topics related to the questions that Saren asked us but mainly it was Priorities and how we all juggle too many balls and want to help others but sometimes we just need to say, “It’s not for me right now” to politely tell someone “no”

We then had group games which April lead us in so we got to have a little fun and be silly for a minute. After the games Saren asked about the connections that we may have with some and it was interesting to see just how many people had so many connections with eachother either in the areas they’ve lived or the people they knew. I loved listening to everyone.

To finalize the night we ended up in the hot tub and took the silly “celery” picture idea that April came up with so go read her reasoning here.

Don’t we look lovely?

Day One, Check!