Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to attend Focus on the Family's live marriage simulcast with Jennifer & Israel, as well as some fellow blog readers. Unfortunately, Tyler wasn't able to join me, as we had no child care during our time in Colorado. Still, it was a fabulous conference with some phenomenal speakers, and I think I had plenty to bring back to the table and share.
We had the opportunity to hear Francis Chan (Crazy Love) speak of his spiritual transformation that took place at the time of his marriage, and how he now "walks the walk" as much as he "talks the talk". We were thoroughly entertained as Dr's. Les & Leslie Parrot (The Love List) spoke on the components of love that exist, and finding balance in a marriage.
It was amazing to hear Dr. Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages) speak in person, as I have often followed and shared his teachings on The 5 Love Languages of Children with my PAT families. He spoke about the various styles of forgiveness, and recognizing what our partner needs in terms of forgiveness, as well as helping us recognize why we tend to forgive the way that we do. Very eye-opening!
We heard Gary Thomas (Sacred Marriage) speak on God's design for marriage and Dr. Juli Slattery (No More Headaches) speak about traditional marriage roles and why men and women need to feel like they fill these shoes. We heard Stephen Kendrick (The Love Dare) tie things together on the importance of forgiveness in a marriage, and the essence of having a forgiving heart, and underlying theme of the conference. Great, great information & inspiration to make some changes!
And, lest I forget our star-studded experience- hearing Kirk & Chelsea Cameron speak of their journey in marriage and what God how they honor God in their choices. Very neat to hear- not going to lie- I was WAY more smitten than I thought I would be. And, just for Kelli, I will share one of the few pictures I took during the conference:
It was great to be able to spend more intimate time with Jennifer & some of the other bloggers I met, like Amanda & Erik, who were just great! Following the conference, we spent a bit of time reflecting on the criticism & hate that Jennifer has to deal with daily, and the journey that they were about to embark upon in Kenya with Compassion. Amazing stuff!
You can see a few more pictures of our group here and for those of you that read Jennifer's blog, you may or may have noticed a familiar (blurred) face in the background of a picture of her & Israel from her latest post... yep, that's me at the simulcast! That gave me a good chuckle.
During the time that I was at the conference (7:00 am- 2:30 pm), Tyler was on his own with the girls. He took them to The Dinosaur Depot Museum, McDonald's for lunch & play, and then back to Focus on the Family to play and wait for the conference to end.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye to Focus's beautiful campus:
The afternoon was relatively young, so we headed to the United States Air Force Academy's museum and stunning chapel. The girls were so sleepy, but they enjoyed the hands-on plane onside the museum, choosing a gift for Graycop at the gift store, and hiking uphill to the chapel. What a fantastically beautiful structure!
Sassy enjoyed climbing the stairs to the chapel, and we took a look inside- just gorgeous! We spent some time laughing and chasing the girls around outside, and I was busy taking pictures from every angle I could!
Tyler and I even managed to get a self-portrait that we both approved of- practically unheard of! As much as I adore photographing my beauties, it's really fulfilling to get a nice picture of my husband and I together every once in a while!
After driving through the campus, it was easy to see why people would come across the country to attend the academy. It was magnificent! What a place to live!
We decided on round two of Noodles & Company for dinner (yum) and even hit the local TJ Maxx (a personal favorite) to kill a little time before returning to the hotel for the evening.
Throughout our trip, Little A refused to sleep in her pack'n'play, and she proved rather difficult to put to sleep. See, she enjoys things quiet and dark, and sharing a small hotel room with 3 other people who tend to stay awake a lot longer than her was NOT conducive to her sleeping style. Nope. Not at all. But, she was a trooper.
Finally, we were able to rest and dream sweet dreams about our last full day in Colorado...