Monday, November 13, 2017

Reflections on CM West :: Conference at Puget Sound

I didn't think I'd be able to go to this conference. With a baby due in July, a September trip didn't at all seem likely. But blessings abound and the timing actually worked out well.

This was the first time I had flown in ten years, since my oldest two were tiny.  I love traveling and used to travel a lot when I was younger, so it was a real treat to be back at an airport, going somewhere new.

San Jose down below :)

The retreat center where the Seattle team hosted the event was beautiful. Right on the water, hotel-style accommodations, lovely meeting areas and grounds.  (A bit less rustic than where we'll be in February. ;))

view from my room

Nancy Kelly was my main impetus for going to this conference. I had never heard her speak in person. She was such a wonderful model of the masterly, mindful Mason educator.  I took even more from her presentation style than from the content she shared. She gave talks on Shakespeare, Citizenship, Bible lessons, and imagination over the course of two days. Chatting with her was such an encouragement!

picture study as part of her citizenship and magnanimity talk

In addition to Nancy, there were a couple local speakers brought in to share their passions: one on Shakespearean costuming and one from the Audubon on birding with children. Both were delightfully enthusiastic.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was when Virginia Lee and I took a walk down to the beach one morning before breakfast. Did I mention I got to meet Virginia Lee for the first time after thousands of Voxes back and forth as we work together @charlottemasonirl?

We got to watch the sun come out, changing the sky from moody to bright.

This trip was definitely about relationships, as other online friends became in-real-life friends on this trip too...

half of my daily fitbit group (mystie, betsy, and amber), nancy kelly,
virginia lee and arielle, and marcia mattern

Forging friendships, getting a break after a challenging pregnancy and recovery period, renewing energy and reaffirming my vocation.

It is always a blessing to "retreat" from ordinary home life for a time, in the company of like-minded mamas, breathing in fresh ideas.  I can't wait for February!


  1. How lovely!

    1. What would have been even lovelier is if YOU had been there, Antonia!! :)

  2. It was wonderful to meet you at the conference! Thanks for blogging. You are an inspiration!
    Miriam from Mountain View

    1. It was wonderful to meet you too, Miriam! Looking forward to seeing you at another event soon. :)

  3. I'm so glad you were able to come, and I loved seeing your pictures. And I agree, the relationships really made the weekend for me too!

    1. I used to think I was going for education, but now I'm thinking that maybe I go for refreshment and fellowship? So odd to think that my mind has shifted in that way over the past couple years... :)