Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Young Living Silver Retreat 2015

I don't talk too much about the "business" side of Young Living,
because I'm not a business person.
I'm not trying to sell you anything, I can promise you that.

I'm an educator.
I'm an oiler.
I'm someone who has seen a change in the way I can help my family be healthy.
I'm normal (i.e., not crunchy), but I'm going natural.

Learning about, loving, and using Young Living essential oils has just become a way of life for me.

In the process, I've told others about them, and they are seeing the same results we are!
And so, somehow, I had to learn about the business side of this.

It never has been and never will be my focus,
but.
BUT.
If Young Living wants to reward me (generously!) for sharing my story,
and telling others about what is working for me,
and helping them learn about oils for themselves,
I'm all about it!

You know me, friends.
You know I don't do the hard sell.
or parties.
or pushiness.
you probably didn't even know I was "selling oils."

because I'm not.

I'm educating others, and using my oils,
and as a bonus: it's providing a really cool residual income for our family.
It's allowed us to pay off some debt
and give generously
and pay for braces
and take small vacations -
things that aren't super possible when you are a part-time teacher and your husband is a minister.
So I've become a small business owner by accident, and I'm loving it.

The Lord has provided for us in this really cool way,
and Young Living is very generous.

So generous, in fact, that in addition to the monthly residual income I generate.....
and in addition to the Aroma Complete I received (with 120 free bottles of oil!!).....

when I maintained a particular rank for 3 consecutive months,
they brought me out to Utah, all expenses paid,
to hear from their corporate offices and meet other distributors and tour the fields and plant lavender and walk through the distilleries and fall in love with my oils even more!

Here are a few pictures from my whirlwind trip to Utah last week.
I'm not sure I would call it a "retreat," but I would call it a wonderful opportunity!

flying over the mountains of Colorado and Utah was beautiful!
snow still on the mountains!

 our whirlwind agenda

The first night was a fancy welcome dinner!

One of the BEST parts of this trip was that my dear friend and business partner Elizabeth was there, too!  We managed to be on the same flights, to stay in the same hotel, and enjoy experiencing this all together!

MAJOR treat of this trip: getting face time with dear, dear friends from college and seminary days
 

So.
Day 2 turned out to be looooong and full of lectures

(the highlight was the Ningxia shot bar)
 

and don't tell anyone, but
this fabulous group of friends snuck away
to the most delicious little pub for lunch
(best clam chowder I've had in my life)

and then maaaybbseeee we tried Uber for teh first time
(because there's safety in numbers, right?!)
and ditched the rest of the afternoon of lectures
in favor of shopping and dinner out together.

 I LOVED Park City's precious downtown area - so quaint!
And they even have their own Banksy, which is so cool and European.


Then came the best day of all!
We drove out to the Mona Farms for Lavender Days!

This is such a beautiful part of the world.
I really do want to bring my family back with me.
(click on any picture to enlarge)

Touring the farm and seeing the distillation process in person was one of the neatest things that I've ever done.  One of the reasons we choose and love Young Living oils is the Seed to Seal process, and the confidence that it gives me in their products.  Getting to see it first-hand made it all the better!

This is step 1 in the process.
The plants are harvested (at just the right moment - see below)

from the farm, where there are these beautiful plants growing as far as your eye can see:




and then put in these huge things:

this is the bottom of those huge vats pictured above.
The oils are literally pressed out of the plants,
by steam pushing through the pipes, 
to extract the "blood" of the plant.....
the water and the oil separate in the process.

The essential oil is siphoned off, and then essential water is then reused - 
usually to generate steam for another distillation,
and then used to water the fields or make floral water.
Really awesome way to be good stewards of resources!

In contrast, the plant matter is NOT reused.
This is important because our oils are first distillation oils.  
The ones you buy at the health food store, on ebay or amazon, at Whole Foods, for really cheap on LivingSocial - they are not first distillation oils.  It's why you pay less for them.
They are 2nd, 3rd....even 30th distillation.

Think about it like a k-cup.  
The first cup of coffee you get from the k-cup will be the strongest.
Now, you CAN run it through the machine again and what it will produce could still technically be called coffee, but it certainly won't be as pure or as powerful as the first cup.
You could still call it coffee after you run it through the 30th time...but it's not going to give you the same power that first cup did, not even close.

FIRST DISTILLATION.
Right in front of your eyes.
From the fields to the distillery.
It's so beautiful, and gives me so much confidence in using them.




You are looking at the first ever distillation of blue yarrow:


Then the huge drums of oils are taken over to the distillery in big barrels:

and hand poured into these beautiful little devices:


I know, I'm so technical and am explaining this so well.
Maybe it will be better to see it for yourself:

 As you can see, there's nothing very fancy about this.
They've learned what works - 
how to produce superior, pure essential oils,
and they do it. 

We learned so many fabulous things, 
like this about pesticides:
We knew that they don't use pesticides on their fields,
but what about bugs? we asked.
"That's just a part of nature.  It just happens."
They don't spray for bugs...they just trust nature's process,
and provide us with the highest quality oils available.

 THEN
they shuttled us over to the big lavender fields
and let us plant these little baby lavenders!!

 STOP IT.
I couldn't quit smiling the whole time.
This is my beloved lavender....
that my family uses daily in a WIDE VARIETY of ways...
that has replaced lots of other things that we were using before
(if you can catch my drift)....
and I got to put that sweet baby lavender in the ground.
I can know that I know that I know where my oils come from.
There is such peace of mind in that.




And Lemondroppers don't go to the lavender fields
without doing the Lemon Drop Hop!


And then, after all that beauty, I got to fly home to these precious ones!

who were thrilled to death with the ningxia packets I brought them.

These are my people.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day 2015

I love celebrating Father's Day with Dan!
This is his 9th year as a daddy,
and he is more beloved every year.

Here are the kids' annual Father's Day questionnaires:





We celebrated this year with corporate worship, a nap, 
and a round of golf before enjoying a steak dinner together.