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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekend to Remember

If you're married (or engaged), you need to go to a Weekend to Remember. Whether you have a fantastic marriage or you wonder why you and your spouse ever tied the knot, it is definitely worth your time and money to invest in the commitment you made to your significant other.

I had heard rave reviews about this conference from everyone I know who's gone. While we've wanted to go ever since we got married, I was still a little skeptical as to whether we'd even get anything out of it since we are very fortunate to have a solid relationship that has just gotten better with time (albeit a very short time since we've only been married for almost-four years).

Anyway, we opted out of the DFW conference since it was right in the middle of a very busy summer for us, but we jumped on the opportunity to make the 4.5 hour drive to San Antonio this November. This particular conference was held at the gorgeous Hyatt Hill Country Resort, and my only complaint about the hotel was that we didn't get to stay long enough. Its lobby smelled like firewood, the tree-surrounded pools and lazy river would've been completely inviting had it been, you know, summer, and I was dying for some extra time to utilize their bike trails. (Side note: we'll definitely go back for a family vacation when our kids are older; there were tons of available activities, plus it was right next to Sea World.)

So on Friday afternoon, I dropped Nutmeg off at the vet to have her own doggie-getaway, and then Matt and I took Avery to my parents' for a weekend of grandparental spoiling. There were only minimal tears (from me, none from Avery of course), and our trip was off to an easy start. We didn't even have to consider baby-friendly eating establishments at dinner time. And then we hit Austin. Ugh, I'm pretty sure I've never driven through our lovely capital city without hitting excruciating traffic. We made it to the conference in time for the second session, which was about communication. I was a communications minor, so it wasn't exactly brand new information, but it's always good for a refresher on communication styles and why differences often cause conflict in relationships. One of the things I really liked about the sessions was that each made you apply it to your life/relationship somehow. For example, after the communication session was over, there was a questionnaire in our manuals that we each had to fill out about ourselves and our spouse and then discuss it. Most of the answers weren't things we didn't already know about ourselves, but it was so nice to have time set aside to just talk about us.

Saturday was full of sessions. We (actually Matt, ahem) overslept, so we weren't able to meet our friends Tiff and Ross for breakfast, but I was able to (wait in line forever to) get a ginormous breakfast burrito from the hotel's general store, and we were only a little late to the first session. My favorite application project was when we were dismissed for an hour (ish) to write and read a love letter to our spouse. The temperatures were in the 70s outside, so we found a spot by the pool and barely finished out letters in time; we had to postpone the reading part of the project. We went to Genghis Grill with Ross and Tiff for lunch (I have a new-found love for that place!) and were completely stuffed for rest of the sessions (in hindsight, probably not the best idea, haha!). We were dismissed from sessions for the day around 4:30, and Saturday night was reserved for date night (which we were supposed to plan ahead of time). We tried and tried to find some cool restaurants (not on the Riverwalk-- been there, done that), but nothing within a reasonable driving distance was really sounding good (thanks to my current Mexican food aversion...). We decided on dinner at Cheesecake Factory, a walk around the mall, and a trip to Target for some Oreos and milk. I'm totally serious. We don't get date nights all that often anymore, so it was actually a blast.

On Sunday morning we got up and ate breakfast on our balcony and then went to the first session of the day. The men and women were split up for the morning, and our session was really interesting to me. Most of the beginning was about priorities and how our capacity overflows when we don't have the correct order of priorities: God, our husband, our family. Once those things come first, we order everything else around them so that we don't reach our breaking point. (For a people-pleasing, do-everything, yes-woman, this was extremely convicting!) The rest of the session was a further discussion about our relationships with God, our husbands, and our children. We really needed to get on the road, so we skipped the last two sessions and began our trek home. And of course, all I wanted to eat for lunch was Chick-Fil-A, but it was Sunday (dang them and their principles!) so we settled for Jason's Deli and made it back in time to catch the end of church choir rehearsal and pick up Avery. We missed that girl!!

I can't say enough good things about the Family Life ministry and Weekend to Remember. If you are interested in attending one of the conferences, you do need to know that they don't sugar coat anything. They are unashamed of the Bible and the Gospel, so don't expect to go hear an inspirational, feel-good message about following the status quo (since our culture is doing just a great job of preserving the family and all), but do expect to hear messages of hope and restoration and just how great marriage was designed to be (versus the perversion it's become) and can be if you're willing to work on it (translated: work on yourself, ouch).

The schedule is already out for 2011, so go see which ones are close to you. And don't just register online without finding a discount code. The hotel rates are usually the cheapest through the conference, but there are tons of discounted rates available for the conference registration itself.

Your marriage is worth it.


Brooklynn said...

Sounds like an awesome time!!!

I'll have to look into that!

Anonymous said...

I'm sold. We're definitely going next year! Glad you had a good time.