Bear with me because this might get kinda long.....
Back in February, the talented, hilarious and all around awesome Mary of Spoolhardy Girl told me about a creative design retreat she'd signed up for called "Find Your Lula." She thought I might be interested because there were going to be a lot of Illustrator classes and she knew that was my current obsession. There were also going to be life coaching, photography and some craft classes and the whole event was hosted/created by one of my favorite designers - Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish and it was being held at a fabulous house in Park City, Utah.
I looked at it.....thought about it.....and then made my decision - NO! Come on.....I can learn Illustrator at home with online classes. And life coaching.....seriously! Pfffft!!! That sounds sooooo silly. And being trapped in a house full of people that I may or may not like.....yeah, right! No thank you!
Great attitude, huh?!
I'd also recently taken a bunch of online classes and most of them were a total waste of money so I was pretty apprehensive about spending money on ANOTHER class. Especially one that involved forcing my introverted self into a house with a bunch of strangers for four days!
A few months went by and for some reason the thought of the retreat popped back up into my head one evening as Col Sew Fab and I were planning our whirlwind move from Florida to California. Maybe I just felt a pull deep inside of me to be brave and try new things and break out of my shell......maybe it was some desire to embrace adventure and change because so much adventure and change was being forced upon me....or maybe it was just the wine talking.....
But on a whim, I did it.......I signed up. I bought plane tickets. And waited for five months for the big day to arrive.
I thought about cancelling a million times. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be missing out on much. And I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my pets!!! It was going to be the first time that I'd EVER left Baxter alone.....the first time I would leave them all alone in a new house with a new pet sitter......and the worst of all.....it would be the first time I was going to leave my fur babies since Daisy died while we were off house hunting in California.
Talk about an event that could scar a girl for life.....I'm already so paranoid about leaving my pets behind while I go on a trip.....and after my biggest fear became a reality back in May I just didn't know how I was going to do it. How on earth could I leave???!!! My heart would race and I'd get lightheaded at the thought of having to say goodbye, walk out the door and not see them for four days.
But some nagging little voice inside my head.....probably the same one that convinced me to sign up in the first place.....also convinced me that I was about to become an agoraphobe if I didn't get the heck out of the house for a few days. So just do it! Go, girl, GO!
Soooooo......I packed my bags, faced my fears and headed out on my little adventure. And I am soooooo glad that I did.
It's hard to find the words to describe just how amazing this retreat was......but the one word that keeps coming to mind is MAGIC.
Amanda and the Lula Team showered us with gifts all week - adorable tote bags full of crafty and fun goodies, custom slippers made in everyone's favorite colors, fabulous name tags on our doors, a dreamy, colorful room full of a rainbow of candy and snacks, Smash Books (kind of like a scrapbook), a mountain of scrapbook supplies, trinkets and baubles to make an amazing necklace, a needle turn applique kit, aromatherapy samples, a book on discovering your strengths and a pewter "Dream Big" key chain were just a few of the fun surprises.
My days were full of taking amazing classes learning all about Illustrator, photography, needle turn applique, aromatherapy, photography, stretching and alignment and running a creative business while wearing my pajamas ALL DAY LONG with my snuggly new slippers, learning amazing things about myself and feeling truly energized in the life coaching sessions, eating wonderful homemade food, watching the snow fall on the mountains, having hot cocoa with mounds of whipped cream every morning, making amazing new friends, coming out of my introverted shell, laughing hysterically at least 10 times an hour, watching hilarious videos, eating ooey gooey cookies straight out of the oven and basically feeling completely warm, cozy, inspired, energized, grounded, centered, rejuvenated, pampered and completely lucky to be spending time with such an amazing, talented, fun and awesome group of people.
Leaving Lula was like leaving a safe, warm cocoon but it's o.k because I'm ready to fly. Ummmmm.......apparently, Lula also turned me into a sappy, sentimental fool because I never would have said something so touchy-feely in my pre-Lula days!
And the cherry on top of my extraordinary week was that after I returned home and opened my suitcase I found that everything inside was covered in glitter from the goodies I brought home. What a fitting end to a totally magical and sparkle filled week!
P.S. - #IMissMyLulaSistersAndBrother (It's a Lula thing.......)
P.S. #2 - It was pretty awesome learning Illustrator from a human who I can
bombard with questions and I'm going to give life/business coaching a whirl
(being coached.....not becoming a coach!). The girl that thought it was going to be silly now thinks it's the coolest thing ever.
P.S. #3 - I don't think registration is open yet for Lula 2014 but as you've probably already guessed I would HIGHLY recommend that you sign up the second it's open!
P.S. #4 - You probably already figured this out but I LOVED everyone there!