First and foremost, I want to preface this post by extending love and prayers to those in Moore, Ok and surrounding areas. Our thoughts and prayers are with those so tragically affected by these tornatoes. In times like these I feel so helpless while living here in little 'ol Idaho but strongly believe in the power of prayer. May we all just pray.
WARNING: This blog post might be a bit long! My heart is full. My brain is on overdrive as I gather all of my thoughts and reflect on the amazing week I had last week. I am so excited to share with each of you a few details about the ETM Retreat AND share with you details about future retreats!
This month, ETM celebrated 13 years of being in business. I feel like I have been there, done that when it comes to this industry. I have operated a on line store, a brick and motar retail store all while organizing the largest Scrapbook Expo within the state of Expo and in conjunction with that Expo taught hundreds of students a variety of scrapbooking classes.
If I had a dollar for each time I have been asked if I would organize a retreat over the past 13 years, I would sitting on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun!
It has always been a dream of mine to hold a retreat, but I knew in my mind that the timing wasn't right and that if I was going to hold a retreat it would need to be done right. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist that way. I honestly didn't have a location that felt right to me. That changed last fall.
To make a long story short, my family had the opportunity to stay in this home (see above) last summer for our annual family reunion. My brother in law made contact with the owners of the home through his work and they graciously opened their home to us for a weekend. This home is amazing! The entire stay I kept thinking to myself how this home would be the PERFECT location for an ETM retreat. My husband kept telling me to shut the brain down. I wasn't going for it. :-)
I was able to contact the home owner (who lives in Texas) to ask her about my crazy idea and what she thought about us holding our first retreat in her home. Her response was "Heck ya! On one condition... I am coming!".
Sooooo, last fall we started to plan the first ETM Retreat to be held May of 2013!!!
Right after I confirmed the dates and knew we were set to go, ETM held our fall crop. I casually mentioned the retreat at that crop and was sold out for this first retreat with in a week. The response was "It's about time!".
Fast forward several crazy busy months. The holidays arrived,I took a trip to Georgia, my husband and I took a cruise, my son was preparing to leave for a LDS Mission, his twin brother started college that same week. Two ETM crops within that time, all while planning this retreat.
A lot of preparation and planning went in to this retreat. I spent months planning the colors and theme of the event. I shopped for table settings and decor. I knew I wanted guests to feel comfortable and at home but yet maintain an classy and elegant feeling through out.
I wanted the guests to have a touch of home with them while at retreat so we asked guests to send pictures of them and their families so we could display them that week.
Starting with our first meal, guests would be called to eat only to find goodies on their plates, in their cups and on thier chairs. We are so grateful for our wonderful sponsors who spoiled our guests not only with surprises during each meal but also before bed and during classes.
Not only did we have fun leaving them goodies before each meal, we certainly had fun cooking and preparing the meals! Guests downstairs could hear us rolling with laughter in the kitchen. If they only knew. Wink!
After dinner we asked our guests to met in the theater room (yes a theater room) for our official welcome night and get to know you games. We have all taken an oath that what was said in the theater room, stays in the theater room so I won't elaborate but just know that I have not laughed that hard for a long time. My stomach hurt from laughing to hard!
Soon after our welcome night, gals started to get to work. Open crop tables were provided. Gals changed into their comfy sweats and pjs and just scrapbooked until the late hours of the night. They dind't have to worry about cleaning up their supplies each night. They just spread out and got down to business!
A few gals took a break from hours and hours of working to enjoy some fresh air and a walk down to the lake. Note: My sister is crazy and she attacked me. Ha!
A few gals even enjoyed a field trip to a local lavendar field to learn more about lavendar and purchase some goodies. We learned a lot about lavendar this week. Our wonderful host Suanna shared with us her knowledge of the plant and treated us to little goodies created from her homegrown plants right from the home we stayed in!
We enjoyed quiet mornings.
We would Scrapbook. Hours and hours and hours of just working on projects. Getting caught up on projects. Organzing photos. Creating entire albums. No kids. No laundry. No worrying about preparing dinner. Just Scrapbooking!
We spoiled guests with lots of goodies and four class kits complete with all supplies and instructions to complete the class.
We were amazed at just how many projects gals were able to complete. Retreat attendee Linda Hansen sent the above photo of all of her finished projects for the week. WOWSERS!
By the end of the week, life long friendships had been made. Saturday morning after breakfast we gathered in the living room and revealed to each other who our secret sisters were. We laughed and cried then had to say our goodbyes. For now.
I could never express in words how grateful I am for the opportunity to spend this week with these ladies. I will forever hold each of them close to my heart. This was the first ETM Retreat and it was just special. There was love, peace, comfort and a lot of fun. Well worth the wait!
ETM will hold this retreat this retreat two times a year with dates being in May and October. We hope that offering the event at these times will give you options on attending.
The next event will be held October 9th - 12th, 2013.
The spring event will be held May 14th - 17th, 2014.
I will be adding an official information page and link on the Express the Moment website about both of these dates. The October Retreat is SOLD OUT with a waiting list only. If you would like to have your name added to this waiting list and be contacted about the May event please contact me directly at email@example.com
Please contact me for more information, event pricing and deposit requirements.
Space is limited so be sure to add your name to our contact list!