Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Homemade "Stay-Cation" Recharge Mom Retreat

A cosmic alignment is what I called it.  Both of my children are at away camps at the same time.  I was way too exhausted to plan a vacation for myself after getting both boys off.  However, to ensure that I didn't squander this sacred time,  I put together a "Stay-Cation" spa itinerary.  I plan to use the next 6 child-free days wisely. On day one my plan was to treat myself to my favorite muffin from Whole Foods (the Morning Glory) once I kissed my baby goodbye.  The only problem was I read the wrong page of the parent manual.  The bus departed at 7am, not 8:30 a.m. We missed the bus (imagine me screaming at 6:55 a.m.!)  No Morning Glory muffin for me.  There was only one solution -- pack up and make the two hour trek south to meet up with the camp bus.  Talk about a monkey wrench! Despite the 3.5 hour drive back from Madison, Va., and the horrendous traffic, I was still positive the day could be salvaged.

Day 1 - Yoga

 Once I was off from work, I searched Yoga District to find the perfect class.  Bingo! A candlelight, late-night restorative yoga class.  The day was not lost.  Right after reserving my spot, the phone rang.  It was my KingMan, my oldest, who is studying in Guatemala for 4 weeks. "Guess what mom, I lost my wallet."  I looked around to see if maybe John Quinones from the television show What Would You Do? was filming.  This couldn't be real. I calmly asked if all of his money and his passport was in the missing wallet.  Thankfully, it was not.  Okay, shake it off, I said to myself.  I was determined to end the first day of my Homemade Stay-Cation Recharge Mom Retreat on a high note.

This is the smile of success.  I made it! The class was absolutely divine.  I have never taken a restorative yoga class before.  Each deeply relaxing pose is held for at least 8-10 minutes.  I fell asleep 3 times, thankfully I didn't snore. 

Day 2 - Henna Happy Hour

I don't know what it is about Henna that is so much fun.  It just makes me feel feminine and connected to North Africa.  I can't wait to hear all the questions my students will ask.  I'm already preparing a lesson plan.  That's me on the right.

Day 3 - Candlelight Prana Flow Yoga

I love yoga, but rarely get an opportunity to take classes.  Thanks to free and low-cost classes offered through organizations like Yoga District, I had so much to choose from.  The Candlelight Prana Flow Yoga was one of my favorites.  The class description said the practice is "flowing, features cyclical movement, and can feel very fluid and almost dance-like at times."  It sure did.  At the end of class, the instructor said we flowed so well together that it seemed like we had practiced.  I was floating by the end of class.

Day 4 - Aromatherapy Facial

A facial is one of those things that is rarely in the budget.  Thankfully, the Aveda Institute opens it's school to the public so students get to "practice" on real people at a budget-friendly rate.  So I indulged.  Terra Brown, a student who graduates in September, was my esthetician (skin care therapist).  My facial began with a foot scrub.  Really!? I couldn't believe this was included.

I couldn't believe my glow!  That's what a deep cleanse, two toners, two masks, a foot massage and a hand massage will do for you.  This was an AMAZING experience.  Ms. Brown said she was nervous.  I couldn't tell. 

Day 5 - Spa World

Feeling so relaxed, I wanted to shirk off all responsibilities, except for my trip to Spa World.  In came a "reminder" text from Guatemala.  KingMan wanted to know if I was still going to drum class to record the rehearsals.  He is practicing while away to prepare for a huge concert when he returns.  Sigh. I protested.  But he persisted.  "Mom, you promised to record every rehearsal." This would be a slight deviation from my spa itinerary.  Then I recalled that I had sent him messages earlier reminding him of his "promise" to blog about his experiences in Guatemala as a part of his homeschool assignments.  Looks like I gotta "walk the talk."  So off I go to record 3 hours of rehearsals before my trek to Spa World.

The cumulative effect of self-care is amazing.  I can literally feel the stress melting away.  The hot water jets in the bade pool and the Korean salt-scrub prepare the body for the poultice rooms.  There are 8 of them! The Red Clay Room, made from environmentally friendly Korean red clay, emanates 184 degrees of heat that blasts toxins out of the system.  Dripping with sweat, I ventured into the  Blue Onyx and Salt Room.  After the Red Clay Room, temperatures of 120-130 degrees were a piece of cake.  I enjoyed the Red Clay Ball Room the best because I had to lie down on a bed of hot red clay balls and sweat.  It was beautiful, spiritual even! I want to bring my children, but not before we do a lesson first. A homeschool mama can turn anything into a unit study!  A bi-monthly trip to Spa World should be factored into the homeschool budget. 

Day 6 - Yoga with Krishna Kur

The final day of my recharge could not have ended on a higher vibration.  I had the honor of participating in a yoga practice with Krishna Kur, an African-American Kundalini yoga teacher, who has been practicing for more than 40 years.  It was the perfect culmination to what had been a week of reflection and preparation for homeschooling during some very troubling times.  I learned how quickly the body and mind is renewed through consistent wellness practices.  I also learned that as women, especially homeschooling mothers, that if we don't take the time to bond with each other outside of our homeschool experiences, we run the risk of having nothing in common once the children are grown and gone.  I am especially grateful to the homeschool mamas who took time out to join me.  I learned so much from you all.  It was wonderful to just be women together.  By day 7, I was ready for the return of my precious one.

Welcome Home LionHeart

I am very grateful to Camp Dogwood for providing such a wonderful and positive experience for my son.  A mother can truly relax when she is confident her children are safe and happy.


  1. Oh Monica I felt relax just reading your post. My how I wished I could've join you. Unfortunately for me Lion-Hearts brother from another mother is the oldest so I had 3-4 other cubs to look after and I was responsible for My

  2. I understand. Maybe next time. It's always more fun with a friend.

  3. This was wonderful. I think I got a "contact relaxation" just by reading. I'll be sharing with the mamas here to see if we can coordinate some restorative time this year. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you Mama Adia. I am so glad I did this for myself. A beachfront villa would have been nice, but this was the next best thing!