Girls Weekend to Spokane

This weekend a group of us Mattawa girls travelled to Spokane for something called “Time Out For Women” which is basically a convention of LDS inspirational-speakers and singers that help motivate us to to be better women, wives and mothers. My friends who went are all stay at home mums of babies and small kids like me– so I thought it was really funny that we went to take a “break” and ALL we did was talk about our husbands and kids, and miss them the entire time! Haha. That might sound lame, but I think it’s important that Mum’s have other Mum’s to talk and vent to! {And it was really nice to have some good, uninterrupted conversation!}
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My husband was supposed to take care of the kiddos while I was gone {so that he could gain a fuller appreciation of what I do on a daily basis as a mother and a housewife!} Haha. But he had to go to Toronto for the week to work, so I guess I need another girls trip soon! ;-) This time, somewhere warmer and a heck of lot less WINDY! My awesome mother in law volunteered to babysit, which I am really grateful for! This is the first time I have ever been to “TOFW” {mormons abbreviate everything} so I had no idea what to expect, but I had an absolute blast, and came away feeling really renewed, uplifted and definitely inspired on how to be better! The theme for this year was to “think, believe and live HIGHER.”

TO THINK HIGHER:
One of the speakers I liked simply said: “Our thoughts have the power to lift us higher, or get us down.” How we live, and how we want to be, ALL start with the way we think — so we should try to fill our minds with kind, constructive, positive, clean thoughts. The things we think about are the things that will be written on our hearts; “if we plant evil seeds in our minds, obnoxious plants will grow in our hearts,” so we must make sure the things we plant there are good. {P.S. I’m no gardener, but I hope there’s no such thing as “evil seeds!”} Haha. To think higher, we need to assess the things “that feed our minds and souls the best.” She read a list of popular articles that people read online, and asked us what “captures our attention?” For me, I read a lot of Blogs–which is both a good and bad thing. It’s good because I draw inspiration from others, but it’s bad because I compare myself, and feel as if my blog, and all the things I do are just never good enough. What I took away from the theme: “think higher” was to think more positively about myself and stop comparing myself so much to others.

There was a lady who spoke, called Marianna Kallom, who grew up in Sierra Leonne, and had a REALLY hard upbringing. Her parents never told her they loved her, or were proud of her, or even put her arms around her. They struggled to feed her, but she was still determined to get what little education she could, to become a nurse and better her situation in life. When she was older, the war began in Sierra Leone and she watched as her parents were brutally murdered in front of her. The rebels cut off her sisters arms and legs, then later they were taken, and were never seen again. This lady’s message was SO powerful, because she had lost more and been through more in her life than anyone I had ever known, she had more reasons to be mad at the world, and at God about than any of us, and yet she was the most POSITIVE, happy person you have EVER met. She said: “Having gratitude in our hearts makes us joyous, and more passionate about life.” One way we can “think higher” is to just be more grateful for everything we have.

An LDS singing group called MERCY RIVER sang at the convention. Their songs are so beautiful!
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{We got a photo with them, but the girl who took it cut out one of the singers} :-/ My sister in law Jessica  was wearing a pink top and green trousers like the singer next to her — so they were twins. Everyone kept commenting on it, and Mercy River actually asked her if she would like to go up on stage and sing with them! She totally should have.

In-between their songs, they shared a couple of beautiful messages, and one of them said: “Let your daughters see you modeling impossible beauty.” If we think and say bad things about ourselves, our daughter’s are going to copy us, and have self-esteem issues. Satan wants us to despise ourselves and the bodies we fought so hard to get, but Heavenly Father created us, and made us beautiful to him–so we should see ourselves through his eyes. I feel as if there’s been a lot of “talk” on beauty and self-esteem lately, which is good, because us girls need to hear it. Here are Dove’s new commercials on beauty–which are awesome. The guys make me laugh so hard! I wonder what guys would talk about at a “Time Out for Men?” Haha.
How Girls see themselves 
How Guys  see themselves

TO BELIEVE HIGHER:

In a recent LDS general conference talk, Elder Holland said: “You have more faith than you think you do.” To believe HIGHER, we just need to keep building on that faith. “All things are possible, to them that believe it.” We know we’re not perfect, but we have to keep trying, and doing our best. In Ether 12:4 it says: “Those who believe in God hope for a better world.” What I got from the theme “believe higher” was to stop harboring on all the negative things that are happening in the world around us! I hate hearing people complain about it all the time, because it really gets me down! I mean, I am a Geography major–so it’s not like i’m not interested in the world around me, or what’s going on–but it’s important to see the GOOD that surrounds us too. I think we forget that.
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TO LIVE HIGHER:

There was a guy who spoke about “adult peer pressure.” At first I thought that sounded kind of crazy, I wasn’t sure if such a thing existed, and if it did–I knew it definitely didn’t pertain to me, but then as he started to describe it as “the pressure we’re under to be perfect because we compare ourselves to others all the time,” I realized I was the most guilty one of all! He said: “We can’t look two ways at the same time. We can’t look up to heaven, if we are looking sideways at what other people are doing.” This was one of my favorite quotes from the entire convention. I think most women are guilty of comparing themselves online through pinterest, Facebook and Blogs– but if we compare ourselves, we will only feel frustrated, discouraged, and doubtful. If we look up and see ourselves through God’s eyes, or if we can just look up and see the bigger picture we won’t feel those things. I am definitely going to make a better effort to not look sideways from now on.

Another talk I loved was about “creation.” Elder Uchdorf said: “the desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” I absolutely LOVE this quote because I have never quite been able to put my finger on WHY I love creating so much before! God is a creator, and since we are his children, there’s a part of that in all of us. As women, we create our homes, relationships, our education, meals, and so much more. But the most important things we create are our families–our children. Then they spoke about “creatively raising them.” If we saw motherhood as an infinite “creative” process, then we wouldn’t feel as bad when things went wrong (like they do in any creative process). The most important thing is that we have an understanding of Christ’s atonement as we raise our kids imperfectly. 

Something else I got from the theme of “Living higher” was to “Look beyond the daily routine of life; don’t get so caught up in the details of everyday life that we miss the magic of the moments.” Motherhood involves a lot of mundane chores, and a lot of chaos… “but somewhere in the midst of those things, is the real business of living.” I love that! I now have WAY too many things to work on, but I was grateful for so much great advice and inspiration! I would love to go again next year. Here are a few more pics:

Me with my sis in law, Jessica SONY DSC

Us girls
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Not only did Jessica match the singer, but Heather as well! Haha. SONY DSC

Me and my good friend, Heather SONY DSC

Along with the TOFW, us girls also had a blast SHOPPING totally kid-free for an entire day, which was like a dream come true! Haha. The mall we found in Spokane is probably one of the biggest I have been to in YEARS! We had fun trying on tons of clothes… I just never have time to try on clothes in the stores when I have kids with me. The small things!
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They had a huge forever 21! YES! SONY DSC

We ended up at IHOP (the only place open so late at night) so we could all get dessert–most of us so were so tired we were just super giggly, and people were probably really bugged by how loud and crazy we were being. My sister in law didn’t want dessert–so she just ordered a plate of bacon! Haha. As you do, at 10 o’clock at night!
SONY DSCMy husband and I arrived home from our trips at exactly the same time–and it was SO good to see him for the first time in a whole week! Then just to top off my weekend, on sunday we went to church together as a family for the first time in TWO YEARS! He has been serving as the Branch Clerk in the Spanish branch, while I have had callings in the ward–so we haven’t really seen much of each other on sundays for a really long time! Here is my husband in his new handsome suit. Ow ow!
SONY DSCIf there is one feeling I have come away with after this weekend, it’s GRATITUDE. I am thankful for such amazing friends in Mattawa who are Mum’s like me, so I can have people to relate to during this phase in life, and just have a blast with! I am thankful to have an awesome husband who’s my best friend and dotes on me and his kids! I am thankful to have two amazing families! I am thankful to have been born in a first world country, and for the chance I now have to live in America. I am thankful for two sweet, healthy, smart kiddos, and for a beautiful home– and most importantly, to a loving Savior and father in heaven who have given it all to me!

<3 Sarah

2 Comments

  1. Jessica (Your FAVORITE sister in law)
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 17:30:32

    IM STEALING ALL OF THESE!!!:):) .. except the ones with you and Deano!:)

    Reply

  2. Heather
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 21:02:54

    Love this post!!! I had such a blast with all you girls:) Love the pictures. AND I am stealing them as well:)

    Reply

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