Tuesday, May 4, 2010

business trip: TOFW

I took a little "business trip" last weekend.

First of all, have I ever mentioned how thankful I am for opportunities like this? Yes, I think I have...over and over.

I felt so humbled and grateful to get to speak at the Spokane Time Out for Women last Saturday. And to do it with my dear Mother.

I felt like that was the best Mother's Day gift ever. Not only to get to be there with my Mom, but to feel the strength of thousands of women, and to gather all kinds of new ideas to implement into my life. A refresher course to gauge where I am and where I need to be.

It was powerful.

Sure, it was also a little humbling/scary/intimidating. I mean, look at this venue and imagine it filled to the brim with 2,200 women (yes, I'm totally dead serious with that number): ...and then picture me up there on the stage with my crooked mouth trying to mumble out motherhood "secrets."

But you know what? I felt surprisingly calm and peaceful up there. I can't describe it, but the love in that humongous room was strengthening.

And so was my Mom at my side imparting her infinite wisdom.
Check out these wonderful ladies who made the whole event possible:
(The event producers Laurel Christensen and Chrislyn Woolston are on the left on either side of my mom and me, then Mariama Kallon, Wendy Ulrich, the wonderful Mercy River trio, and Emily Freeman.)

And that's not including the ones who spoke/performed the night before, including Jenny Oaks Baker who knocked my socks off once again.

These women are each so amazing in their own, unique way. And I got to very humbly stand at their side.

I wish I had a picture of the other ladies who made it possible: the ones who attended the event. We got to meet a whole slew of them and man alive, there are so many outstanding mothers/women out there. I am so surprised at how many mothers have children with issues similar to Lucy's. And how many of them have been through trials beyond measure. And they are still persevering with hope and faith. They are strong. So many wonderful examples seeping into my brain to uplift and inspire me.

On to the nature beauty (as opposed to the beauty of those women)...because I love the sky (and to fly through it). It was so gorgeous when we were about to board the plane to come home. I wish my little travel camera could really do it justice:

Of course, I couldn't go on a trip without documenting through my airplane window. Some day I'll haul my good camera around for these shots (and I'll figure out a way to get a clear piece of glass in there instead of those scratched up fuzzy ones in airplanes), but for now, this is what I've got:Spokane is SOOOO green and gorgeous. (A little different from the desert.)

Salt Lake City was gloomy and gray.

The clouds above everything were as soft as velvet.

And home sprawled out before me as my heart raced back to my family I missed so much.


  1. Are you teaching at TOFW here in PHX this year? I'm going to that one and would love to listen to you and your Mom♥

  2. I am sitting here in my comfie Lazy Boy recliner getting my last dose of chemo and checking up on everyone's blog entries. I really appreciated your most recent blog entry because you really made feel like I was there with you in Seattle. I have never been there so it was really, really fun. And TOFW is my favorite thing in the world! thanks for your blogs!!
    Christa Johnson

  3. I was there in that audience! And have been kicking myself ever since that I didn't come up to meet you after you & your mom spoke. You did great, of course! I loved the idea of the "family" testimony meeting after the ward one. I'll be starting that up in our family. Keep up the great blogging, it's so inspiring! Sherri

  4. I too LOVE TOFW! I have been able to be an area recruiter for the past several years. I hope you and your mom will be speaking here in PHX. I think you both would draw A LOT of woman...hint, hint:-) Is Chrislyn Woolston expecting?? I was there when her, then boyfriend, purposed to her!

    ***random, in the post before (Pool boy), my husband and I want to know what the climbing plant is on your wall/fence? Thanks!

  5. I just posted about time out for women too. I love the inland north west. it will always be my home`

  6. i was there in Spokane for TOFW!!!
    It was a wonderful weekend.

  7. I was at time out for women and had the great chance to meet you and have you autograph our book. Your talk was really inspiring and probably touched me the most. My son was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1 pound 10 ounces. He has had 3 eye surgeries and is facing his 4th this year. He is almost legally blind and has been since he was born in his right eye. We manage and get through. He got his first set of glasses at 7 months old, and contacts at 9 months. I am so excited to get involved with some of the organizations you have on your blog for fighting blindness. Thank you for sharing your story with us in Spokane. :)

  8. So wish I could have been there! TOFW is coming to my area (Dallas area) in October, and I plan to be there. I've never been, but have always heard such great things about it.
    And, holy cow, you're brave!

  9. Oh, I love Mercy River... Brooke Stone is a good friend of mine and I just love her. I would love to come to TOFW someday, I've been to Womens Conference in Provo with my mom and it was amazing. Glad your trip was successful!

  10. Shawni, thanks for filling me up when I am running on empty. In my heart of hearts, when I am having one of those days, I try to remember how Shawni would do it. I think I need a TOFW trip. It has been a while.

  11. Hey Shawni, I just went with my sister in law to TOFW in Indianapolis...it was a blast...and I saw you in the program, I didn't know you spoke at these! I mean, Im not surprised :) I wish you and your Mom could have been speakers at this one. All the speakers were awesome, and hilarious! LUv ya, Karen

  12. Shawni...
    So, funny story. My mom called me during a TOFW break time to say hi and told me where she was. I thought of you immediately and my mom couldn't believe that you and your mom were THERE as speakers! After my conversation with her, she just HAD to go up to you and say hi...and I'm sure say something about me talking to you about Joy School through email. :) Thanks for making her day. She LOVED every second of TOFW.
    Nikki {Ohio}

  13. I wish I could have been there to hear you! Maybe someday you'll come to Riverside or San Diego's TOFW. It was fun checking up on your blog tonight...you're doing great things, Shawni!


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