Thursday, February 25, 2016

Retreat for Women, who are blind/visually impaired!!

Our second retreat for Women who are blind/visually impaired or diagnosed with an eye condition.

**I am so excited about this upcoming event we have planned!  If you know a woman that is blind or visually impaired that might like to join us, please share!!    
Caption reads:  Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. -- Brene Brown, from the Gifts of Imperfection
Daring to Own Your Story
A retreat for women
(who are blind or visually impaired)

Why attend a retreat specifically for visually impaired women?At times when facing vision loss, many women may feel isolated because they often don't know anyone who shares their unique challenges. This retreat is an opportunity to connect and share stories with other women experiencing vision loss.  You will also leave with empowering tools and new insight through the Brene Brown, --, experiential activities. This retreat is an experience to truly own and celebrate who you are and your story. 

Becky Andrews, LCMHC and Nicole Wall, LCMHC will lead you on an amazing journey of connection, learning, growth, adventure and laughter. 

Becky Andrews, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and owner and clinical Director of Resilient Solutions, Inc (blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa).

Nicole Wall, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Certified Daring Way Facilitator. Facilitates the Daring Way Course by Brene Brown. 

Retreat size is limited to 10.  

When?  Thursday August 18 5 PM – Sunday 11 AM August 21, 2016, We will also hold a getting acquainted call with everyone prior to the retreat! 

Where?  Country Inn & Suites, Bountiful, Utah.  We will also be holding part of our retreat at Becky’s home and office in Bountiful and an afternoon/evening in Salt Lake City, Utah and an optional hike early Saturday morning.  All transportation while you are at the retreat will be provided.  Transportation from the airport to the hotel is available by requesting through the hotel prior to your stay ($15 charge).  Bountiful is 15 miles from SLC Airport. 

A special thank you to Joy Thomas and Jenelle Landgraf at for their collaboration.  We are so grateful for sharing this experience together.  You can visit their blog at and watch this amazing video that will give you further insight on our retreat:

Retreat Details:   

Retreat is$195 (register before May 5th), $295 after if still availability and Includes: Retreat Thursday 5 PM – Sunday 10 AM.
Meals included:  Thursday Dinner/ Friday & Saturday Lunch and Saturday dinner.  Breakfast will be included at the hotel each morning. Friday evening after activities in Salt Lake City, we will eat at City Creek together – Attendees will purchase their own meal for this evening.  Additional activity will include:  a hike to Ensign Peak. 

To reserve your room, call the hotel, 801.292.8100 and indicate Resilient Solutions rate.  The rate is $99/room and will be available Wed, August 17 – Monday, August 22.  Website:

You can have your own room or choose to share with another woman attending the retreat.  

Airfare, travel expenses, and hotel are the responsibility of the attendees. 

We are so excited to share in this experience.  If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Becky

We are grateful for Resilient Solutions, Inc for lending their office space and being a generous sponsor for this event.

Please send check payable to Oasis Center for Hope, Attn:  Becky 1355 N. Main, Ste.1, Bountiful, Utah 84010 and the following details:   

Name ____________________________  Phone ______________

Email _________________________ 
Preferred way to receive information: 

Large Print/Electronic ______________________­­­­­­­­­__

Our Songs

As my first guide (for nine years), Pantera opened up many doors for me and gave me increased confidence as a woman - who is blind.  The story shared of my kids running after me at the Portland Airport after graduation has been told a time or two :).  Whenever I hear this song, You Raise Me Up,  I think of my Pantera.

Cricket has been my connecter.   In so many ways we have had opportunities to connect with others.  So very grateful for those deep brown eyes that have blessed my life.  When you say nothing at all is our song :). As we were walking back to our seats after speaking at the GDB Holiday Luncheon, this song was playing with pictures of guide dog teams.  Listen to the words and you can see how beautifully it fits.  Love it.
Steve and Becky -- GDB Holiday Luncheon 2011.
Gotta love breaking your arm just before you are to fly to speak to 700 people :). 

Now my third guide:  Georgina.  Of course, Georgina soon became Georgie Girl.  But the real song that represents Georgie is: Happy   It was playing almost each morning as we got in the van for training.  Georgie is such a happy dog.  I love how she celebrates her victories in life.   I love that she wags her whole body when you pull out the harness.  I love that she wags her whole body when she knows she 'nails it' on a Find (Steve, the elevator, the escalator, the door, the stairs, the ice - at the convenience store, the chair, the counter,)  Yesterday I made the mistake of mentioning to a client that we were going to go for a walk.  Georgie heard that word and bounced up wagging her whole body ready to go for a walk.   Georgie is my make it happen dog.  Whether she is asked to find a destination, or relaxing around home and pulls out a toy and nudges you til you play a game of tug with her :).  She makes it happen.
Photo by Rick Egan - SL Tribune

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Last weekend plus we spent in St. George. We left Wednesday evening and came back home on Monday so a wonderful get away! We found sunshine, family, friends, new friends and joy in being in the outdoors. As I am preparing for a marathon, the schedule said 13 miles for this weekend. Not being in town with my friends my next option was perhaps I could run a half marathon down there and see if just by chance there might be someone running that would be open to running as my guide. I 'put it out there' .. shared with friends, even on facebook and one of my friends/colleagues had a friend in Hurricane that could run part and had a friend that could run it all. I was thrilled and a little scared!
Meet my new friends Shelli and Mandi.  They were amazing as guides, they were so kind and helpful and we had a great time runnig through the trails, roads of Washington, Utah.  My time was 2:19 so I was very happy with that as well.  Thank you so much Shelli and Mandi.  I look forward to running again with you sometime!!  
Our friends Paul and Phyllis were in town and we had the chance to go on our first bike ride of the season together.  It was short but felt so great!! Can't wait for the next one.  
I was so excited that Steve could run the 5K.  He was the one that was my first guide and his knees haven't let him continue to run as much as I have -- so it was super fun to see him get to run and he waited for us and ran the last mile with us on the half-marathon.  

We also enjoyed time with Kendall, who is down there working on some courses for a master's degree, my parents, and even extended family.  Georgie got in some wonderful walks as well.  

We love it down there and grateful we can go down for long weekends.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Little things mean a lot

Sometimes I reflect on all the little things a guide dog does each day that are so meaningful and helpful. I am grateful for each day. Last week we had an appointment with our dentist. He had moved to a new office. It was a confusing space especially the first time. After leaving his office I was confused on which way to leave the building. I needed to find the stairs we had come up. It was time to fully turn it over to Georgie. I told Georgie - Find the stairs - hoping she could find our way out of this confusing building. She did! Great work, Georgie Girl. Thank you.
Find gratitude in the little things and your well of gratitude will never run dry.  -- Antonio Montoya