Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hearts at Home

For the last couple of years, I have been able to attend a great women's conference called "Hearts at Home".  It is a conference designed specifically for mothers, and each year I leave refreshed and encouraged. I was so excited to get another chance to go this year with two of my dearest friends! 

On Friday night, we headed over to Bloomington to begin our adventure. We found our hotel and unloaded, went to dinner, and then made our way to the ISU campus for the start of the conference.

Laura, Jen (you may recognize her from my cruise pictures!) and I
waiting in line to get our registration packets

We had the chance to go to a hilarious event called "Mom's night out". They started the night with a skit that had us all rolling!  Two moms, each wearing a sling filled with a 10-pound sack of potatoes and a backpack filled with bricks (to simulate the "pregnancy pounds" they had put on before having their baby) had to put together a pack and play. The one who could do it the fastest--keeping one hand on her sling with the 'baby' inside at all times--won!

One drawback to the night was the that air conditioning wasn't working. 
Who would think you would need a/c in the middle of March? Only in Illinois!! 
Jen, demonstrating how hot she was :)

Musical guests Abide. These ladies used to sing in the group Sierra, which I listed to growing up!

This, I thought, was amazing....the Hearts at Home band had a drummer 
who was wonderful--and only in eighth grade!!

One of the most special things about the conference for me was that I got to meet and spend time with a dear friend who I have been corresponding with for several years. Carolyn and I found each other (, I don't even remember now, it's been so long ago!!) shortly after I lost my little one in December of 2007. She had also miscarried around the same time, and we bonded through that.

She was a missionary in Mexico (at the time--she is home in the states now along with her husband and four absolutely adorable little boys) and we began an email/facebook/blogging friendship that has continued to deepen over the years.  We both got pregnant around the same time--me with Lola, and her with Hudson--and were able to share most of our pregnancies together.  Now, we are both raising families of four with two of the cutest two-year-olds on the planet!

We talk weekly and it was so neat getting a chance to meet her and spend time together in person.
She was just as awesome as I always knew she was, and I thank God for our friendship!

The fun continued with 3-2-1 Improv comedy. In this scene, the "wife" was mad at her husband for buying a motorcycle without asking her first. (Oooooh, I know....awful, right?) The two on the left were acting out the scene, and the one on the right was trying to guess what was going on. Hysterical!

After the comedy, we needed some milkshakes. :)
Jen wanted to make sure she had the booth all to herself.

The next morning, we were treated to the keynote speakers of the conference: 
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

The Duggars were really awesome. I believe they really get a bad rap in our society because of the lifestyle choice they have made, but truly--they are the real deal. They have struggles just like we do (and have thought at times 'what have we done!'), but they simply continue to rely on the Lord each and every day to carry them through. I immensely enjoyed hearing their testimony, and was very encouraged to do my best to continue to raise my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

The day was full of great workshops. Because our Sunday School class is specifically geared towards marriage and family, this year I chose to take NO parenting sessions. I chose instead to learn about everything from adult friendships to money saving to fashion, and really enjoyed my time in those classes.  I felt like I came away with a lot of practical knowledge--and a few big ideas for things I'd like to change!  I also had the chance to have lunch with Carolyn, and spend some more time talking with her.  Maybe I will write a little more in depth soon about my favorite things I learned in those workshops.

Pretty soon it was time for the closing session, where were were encouraged once again to seek wisdom from God's word. This session is probably the one that impacted me the most.  God's wisdom is there, just waiting for us to find! And God will show us if we seek it and ask of Him.

One other great thing--our friend Stephanie was able to join us on Saturday! 
She grew up at our church, but now she and her husband are serving in the Air Force out in 
Las Vegas. It is always wonderful when she comes home, and this was a special treat 
that we got to enjoy some of the conference with her!

I would love to encourage the Mommies reading this to check out the Hearts at Home website. There are a few conferences, each in different parts of the U.S., during the year. If you would love a refreshing weekend away while still learning some great practical parenting advice and widening your Biblical knowledge on a variety of subjects, it's a great resource!


Leanne said...

Thanks, Devin, for doing this post and detailing your time at H at H.

I'm still hoping to go to one of these one day. I'd actually love to take Hannah (who's almost 15) and Samantha (who turned 13 in Dec), just because these two girls are some of the best company I know and they're so wise and awesome to be with! We'll see....

Anyway, thanks again!

Mandy said...

Hi, Devin! Thanks so much for your post on Hearts at Home! It was an amazing conference! I am actually part of the marketing team and the Coordinator for the H@H bloggers~ we would love to talk with you about our blogging program! Sorry for being 'spammy', but I wasn't sure how to get in touch! =) Would love for you to email if you're interested~ we're looking to expand the program this year and would love to get to know you! You can email me at

Kara said...

SO JEALOUS!!! Next year, I PROMISE!!!

The Swenson Family :) said...

I made the blog!! LOL I'm glad I got to come home and spend some time with you!!! It was SOOO nice!!!