Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kjar Sisters' Retreat ** 2011

The Kjar women got together this past weekend (the Friday and Saturday before we all headed to the cabin) to enjoy some girl time! Oh I've been looking forward to this for months :)

LaCol was in charge of planning the retreat this year, and it was a success! Every year we get together ready to relax away from our daily responsibilities, enjoy girl time, and be surprised with awesome activities along the way. (Only Momma Kjar and the planner of the retreat knows what's all going to happen:)

We started out enjoying breakfast at Hagermann's Bakery in Provo. Thinking about it now, it reminded me of the breakfast my Grandpa Smith would make for me and my siblings :) And there just happened to be a sweet older gentleman who owned the store who was absolutely hilarious as he took our orders. We started the day off right!
{ Left to right: Katie, Haley, Sharla, Mom, Becca, Mandy, and LaCol }
Then we headed to the C-A-L Ranch shop for cowgirl hats! :)
After that we went to the local thrift shop and got some western tops :) LaCol was so cute to coordinate all of this!...the hats and the plaid button ups went too perfectly with our next activity...

We took a beautiful drive up to Sundance...where we would go horseback riding!! But first we were surprised by a picnic lunch set up by Ben (LaCol's husband who helped out a ton:). Jimmy John's Beach Club subs, chips, and cookies were there waiting for us to enjoy...YUM!
Then we saddled up for our trail ride! We rode through stunning scenery, lush trees, and ended up with a beautiful view of Stewart Falls. I'll be completely honest and say that my back side was not made for horseback riding ;) but being able to ride those beautiful, powerful creatures out in such gorgeous nature was an awesome experience I'm glad I got to share with the Kjar women!

After our trail ride we headed back to LaCol's house and cleaned up for a night on the town :)

We first ate at a restaurant called Gloria's Little Italy that had a warm flair, character, and a lovely Italian feel. The food was delicious. I repeat, DELICIOUS. And there was a wonderful singer who went from table to table, serenading guests with beautiful Italian songs and even some Disney love songs :) OH, and he played the accordion!!
After the fantastic dinner, we walked down the street to a comedy club called Comedy Sportz. It didn't have jokes revolving around sports (oh, was it just me that assumed that?) but it is a program with two teams of comedians who perform hilarious, improv bits and compete against each other for applause and cheers. We laughed and laughed!! I cannot wait to take Adam to both Gloria's and Comedy Sportz :)

After our night of delicious food and hi-larious comedy, we went back to Lacol's for...more food :)
Every year we bring 2 things to the retreat: a dish/treat and a "favorite thing"
I only pictured a few, but we enjoyed my chocolate covered potato chips, Mom's sour cream chocolate cake covered in ganache (sinfully good!), Becca's strawberry poundcake and basil whipped cream, Sharla's chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake, Katie's savory chip dip, LaCol's colorful bell pepper chip dip, and Mandy's yummy trail mix. Our stomachs definitely went to bed satisfied :)
And then we shared our "favorite things." Some were for fun and merriment, and others were straight from the heart :) I brought a bit of my new kitchen in the form of colorful colanders and boxes of pasta, and Katie brought fantastic Mary Kay lipgloss in an assortment of colors. Becca brought each of us a picture book of our retreat last year (so fun to look back and remember!) and Mom gave us a book called Modern Essentials which is an awesome guide to how essential oils can benefit and heal. Sharla brought a darling book for each of about children's first prayers, and Mandy brought a "Tender Mercy Journal" where we can record the moments and events where we see the Lord's hand in our lives. LaCol shared with us the amazing story behind the Josh Stevens Foundation and their mission "To recognize and reward a child's heartfelt kind acts, and inspire more children to be more kind, more often." She gave us each the pass along bracelets you give to people when they're caught being kind, and then told us that Saturday we'll be given a budget to work with (courtesy of Momma Kjar:) to BE KIND and provide a service to those who we felt were especially deserving. I loved this idea! I'll share our experience at the end :)

Saturday morning we slept in and then went out of a tantalizing breakfast of crepes at Roll Up Crepes, such a darling establishment! It. Hit. The. Spot.

Then we headed out to the Provo River Trail for our exercise activity...which we found out was a tandem bike ride!! We rode along side swimming ducks, grazing cows, over bridges and streams, through parks, and beautiful natural tunnels created from huge arching trees.

The bike ride definitely worked up our appetites for lunch...which took us to the Hotdog King. They had so many kinds of dogs it was a bit overwhelming, the best kind of overwhelming though :)...and in the end I went with one of the daily specials: the Minneapolis Hotdog (check out below). It was, hands down, the best dog I've ever had. And it had mashed potatoes on it...brilliant!

After our insanely delicious and unique lunch, we headed out on our service venture!
I won't share the main project we's top secret ;)
But after our main service project we had saved $10 dollars, in two $5 bills, and drove around looking for one or two people whose days we could brighten up a bit :) We saw two men sitting on a bench waiting for the bus. Sharla hopped out of the car with the money and told them that we (pointing back to our car with of us all waving from the windows) just hoped we could brighten their day, and asked if they could pay it forward. When the men saw how genuine Sharla was and that she was handing them each a $5 bill they got the biggest smiles on their faces! The older man was missing about 5 teeth but grinned ear to ear! And the younger guy kindly said, with a cute laugh, "Looks like I get Christmas early this year!" :) Mission accomplished! But the best we drove away, we watched the older man (who looked very poor) give his $5 to the younger man. What a sweetheart!

That ended our sisters retreat on a high note to say the least!! I love those women to death...and I'm already looking forward to next year :)
Thanks for all you did LaCol! And now she's handed the baton off to me...I'm in charge of 2012's retreat! Anyone with ideas please, pretty please, do share :)


Alyse said...

Oh man! I look forward to these posts, and not just because it makes me crazy jealous that I'm not a Kjar sister, but because I love that you all have such a sweet time together. There is something so special about all you ladies individually and even more powerfully as a group! Sure love you Haley--you've got to be the sweetest, most darling girl around!

Gentri said...

Oh my goodness! What an awesome and fun idea!! Seriously! I hope I do something like this sometime! :)

Kris and Cath said...

WOW! you girls go all out! I think this is a tradition worth starting in my fam:) Fun!

Janie Richardson said...

I love this Haley! I love the Kjars and it looks like you all have such a fun time together! What a fun tradition!

Marlene Fredricks said...

Just sharing your adventure is a way of "paying it forward"! You girls are such an inspiration!

Alli said...

Oh my goodness! This is a fantastic way to spend time with your family! I will definitely have to implement this in Noah's family when I officially join next summer.

Do you rotate each year who plans?

I love that at the end of it all you Paid It Forward. What a beautiful thought. Thank you so much for sharing Haley. This was a delight to read before my weekend to set me on a positive path!

Anneke said...

Can I join your family? please? How fun.

Melissa said...

Looks like a blast! Sisters and sister-in-laws are truly the greatest! I cannot imagine life without them!

Britney said...

Did the fun ever end??!! holy cow that sounds awesome! I wouldn't mind at all if you invited me next year ;). Ok: lots of high calorie food, horseback riding, jimmy john's, comedy sportz (which I've gone too as well and is TOTALLY hilarious--p.s. love the white jeans/pants), desserts, tandem bike rides!!, hot dogs, and a service project??--this is probably the most epic girls outing. EVER.
I would plan one of these for us Stevens women, but I know we (I especially) would have died after the horseback riding and gone home. You women really know how to have fun!

Rachel said...

Such a beautiful idea!

Megan and Justin said...

oh my goodness this is such an awesome idea! I want to start this with my family haha you guys are adorable!

Angela Brian said...

i am finally back to blogging and WAY excited to catch up on your adventures.

your sister trip looks amazingly fun. i am very very jelous.

you make me want to get on a plane for home to spend time with my sisters.

Drew {Coral Cafe} said...

What a beautiful adventure you had! Love the ability to get together with the women you love and do great things! I went horseback riding last week and it was so much fun! My backside might not been so meant for it either, though ;)

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

What a WONDERFUL weekend, Haley! I'm swooning over the western wear, beautiful setting, and of course, the horseback rides (that's my kind of adventure!)! And the night out with Disney serenades and Italian songs? I would be in absolute heaven! I hope they sang O Sole Mio AND A Whole New World. :D :D Those are my two favorites.

I love a good comedy club, and this sounds like a blast of a good time! Sort of like a mash-up between improv and dueling pianos? Count me in! :) I'm always up for some laughs.

Chocolate covered potato chips?! YUM!!! Have you shared the recipe? Because I need it.

Love the idea of sharing your favorite things...the idea of the pass along bracelets is just brilliant! Can't wait to hear more about it.

Oh and crepes?! My tummy is growling! Y'all enjoyed WAY to much good food on this trip.

My heart is so happy...hearing about the older man passing along his money. You girls are awesome...what a wonderful thing. I'm sure you went home feeling very uplifted and positive and joyful.

Rachel Winfield said...

Wow that sounds like such a fun weekend! What a good idea! And you're right about the hot dogs......when I lived in Russia they always put mashed potatoes on them....and its surprisingly good!

Bri!!! said...

I would love to go to the Kjar retreat! What a cute idea! I used to work at Sundance stables as a trail guide! Loved that job! I've ridden to Stewart falls MANY times! Love your family!

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