The kids and I are hijacking Shawni’s blog to wish her a super happy birthday!! This is only the second time we have done this but it is such a big birthday we just had to. I know it is very rude to announce the age of a woman of a certain age so we will be as discrete as possible while we celebrate her birthday with the 40 greatest things we love about Shawni/Mom.

#1 Unbelievable ability to focus on others needs
#2 She loves a challenge
#3 Shawni is competitive but with compassion
#4 She has rockin arms
#5 If I have a problem she can fix it (Max)
#6 Loves newborns to tears
#7 I have never heard her speak an unkind word about someone else
#8 Shawni is very difficult to annoy (trust me I try)
#9 She has never burped in her life
#10 You are an amazing Young Women’s President (Elle)

#11 She never wants to talk about herself, turns focus on others
#12 Changed from very shy to super outgoing
#13 Loves the world and wants to see all of it
#14 You have the best smile (Claire)
#15 Compassionate
#16 Incredible Scrabble player
#17 She plays with me (Lucy)
#18 Six feet of lusciousness
#19 Grabs great snapshots of life in her photos
#20 Ferocious fighter when pushed too far

#21 You make delicious dinners (Grace)
#22 Price conscience and thrifty
#23 She really makes me laugh
#24 You forgive and forget (Elle)
#25 Feels peoples hurt and prays for them daily
#26 You always know how to deal with anything (Max)
#27 Rarely has a bad day
#28 Never on time (wait, how did that get in there)
#29 Makes me feel like I wear the pants in our relationship
#30 You always understand us (Grace)

#31 Fiercely devoted mother
#32 Entertaining writer
#33 You are so nice (Claire)
#34 A great eye for design
#35 Never bought a tabloid magazine and has no idea who most celebrities are
#36 Reads me stories (Lucy)
#37 Very spiritually in-tune
#38 Really lives a well-balanced life
#39 Glass is always half full
#40 You are my best friend

We love you Shawni and know that everyday of the year you focus on others (family, friends, neighbors etc. ). But, today we want all the attention to be on you for this special day even though it will make you very uncomfortable and embarrassed. If any of you in blogland have a second please send a comment on what you love about Shawni or if you want a little more privacy send her a note to her email at sepphotography at

Shawni you are the greatest and I am the luckiest guy in the world to wake up in the morning next to you everyday. Now I gotta go, I need to run to the store and pick up thirty candles, we only have ten left in the house.


  1. What a sweet post, wow! I LOVE that you radiate of beauty on both the inside AND out. You truly are one of the most beautiful people I know. I am lucky and grateful to call you friend. Hope your birthday is a special one. You so deserve it!

  2. Happy Birthday dear girl.
    So many amazing qualities listed here, but the one I love the most is "never speaks an unkind word about anyone." I find that attribute amazing.
    You are loved. xox

  3. Happy Birthday Shawni. I wish I was your next door neighbor. I think we'd be great friends πŸ™‚ Your blog is my favorite of all time. I always feel happy and encouraged when I read it. I hope your birthday is fabulous!! You deserve it!

  4. This is SO SWEET! Numbers 17 & 18 are my FAVORITES!

    Happy Birthday Shawni, I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to hear you speak with your mother a few years ago, it was refreshing and uplifting. I am equally grateful to have found your blog (again) recently and I love the upbeat, yet honest, way in which you write about your life and insights. Thank you for letting us peek in and learn from you!

  5. Adorable!! Your family is just the best!

    P.S. *ahem*….now hear this….you will love your 40's!! They rock even better than the 30's. Just sayin' Not that you are there yet or anything.. ; )

    Happy Happy Birthday!

  6. you inspire me to really focus on my kids and listen to them! mostly though, i am grateful for how you are real about motherhood and celebrate those small moments of pure bliss in amongst the chaos of everyday. (i am typing with one hand as my collicky newborn just drifted off to sleep over mt other arm…bliss:))

  7. Happy birthday Shawni!!! The thing I love about you (a complete stranger πŸ˜‰ ) is that you inspire me to be a better mother. So… my kids thank you too!!

  8. Shawni, you are an inspiration to countless women. You share not only the beautiful happy moments, but the realities and hard days as well. I am very choosy about which blogs I read because I don't want it to take away time from my family, but reading yours helps me become a better woman, mother and leader. May this birthday be the best yet! So glad your family hijacked your blog for this wonderful celebration.

  9. Happy birthday Shauni! What a wonderful gift your family gave you and it blessed the rest of us as well!
    I love how you love your familyand are continually trying to improve on something that's already so great. You're humble and sweet, kind and compassionate, and always willing to share your knowledge and ideas. You bless me with your encouragement and I always look forward to what you share on your blog.
    I hope you have an amazing day, and year!
    God bless!

  10. Happy birthday, Shawni! I think we all wish you were our best friend. You've been such a great example of an awesome mom, wife, and just overall lovely person. Thanks for all the inspiration these past couple years!

  11. Happy Birthday Shawni! I love being able to be uplifted by your postings on family, my photo's have improved by seeing yours and my perception on my calling has changed as I have read your thoughts on yours. Thanks so much!
    love & cake with candles,

  12. I have never met you, but I have become a better mother since I began reading your blog. I love that you are always so positive and optimistic. I love that you are real and admit that you are not perfect and that moms get frustrated and lose patience sometimes. I hope I can be as great a mom as you someday! Happy happy birthday!

  13. Happy Birthday Shawni!

    I often think to myself: "WWSD?" – What Would Shawni Do? πŸ™‚ As others have mentioned, you are an inspiration to so many of us. Thank you for sharing the gift of you.


  14. Happy Birthday! I can't tell you how much what you do means to me… a year and a half ago, I was trudging through motherhood and (sadly) hating it. Reading your blog (and your book), changed my life. I find joy in motherhood, see light in the trenches, and try to soak up each day I get with my babies. Thank you so much for all you do.

  15. Happy Birthday!

    Your blog is so fabulously encouraging! I don't even have children yet, but I still love reading your thoughts, and advice. It's so well rounded, thought out, and wholesome.

    I hope your birthday is incredible!

  16. Happy birthday Shawni! Hope you have a beautiful day. I love that you are so honest about your imperfections and how you are so focused on being a good wife and mother.

  17. I LOVE that your husband, who is quite reserved about having you post about him on your blog, called you 'six feet of lusciousness' in a public forum. LOVE IT!!!

    Happy Happy Birthday to a truly inspirational woman!!

  18. Happy Birthday! I stumbled across your blog last year and spent hours pouring over your posts, inspired by your thoughts on parenting and photography.

    So your quality that I would like to celebrate is your 'presence'. The ability to be in the moment with your children has really inspired me. Thank you!

  19. HAPPY BITHDAY SHAWNI!!!! Wow what an amazing list! You're such an inspiration, great Mum, amazing photographer and so much more! My most fav blog and I learn so much from you!!! X

  20. Oh, I missed your big day. Sorry about that. But HAPPY BIRTHDAY anyway. I'm sure it was wonderful! And thanks for being so inspiring and helping others, and letting me relive vicariously the wonderfully crazy times of having all our kids at home. Have a marvelous decade!

  21. Happy Birthday Shawni! I hope you have a great day…
    Thank you so much for posting every day, I'm your big big fan! You are such a good mum, photographer and a big inspiration.
    A special thank you from Portugal πŸ™‚

  22. Happy Happy Birthday Lovely Shawni.
    I read your blog all the time and your posts make me smile. You and I share something quite unique. We both have one boy and four girls. I have Bailey he is 13, Mya is 10, Layla is 8, Willow is 6 and Clover is 1…and I will forever crave for more babies but Im lucky my husband let me go this far too.. :-))))
    Hmmm what I think is amazing about you is???…you helped me to know what to do when my children on occasion argue. I tried the, sit them down together and only discuss what they themsleves did wrong in the argument. It has helped enormously, now there is no finger pointing and laying blame on one another….it's a miracle.
    Your amazing and lovely, and I think its funny when you say "man o man" in your posts, because I visualise you saying it in your american accent, and for some reason it makes me giggle…thankyou…
    kelly from Australia

  23. Have a wonderful birthday! To have your family think and feel those lovely thoughts about you is gift enough in my book. Thank you for being an honest mom and putting it out there. God bless!

  24. This is SO amazing!!! I read your blog every time a new post comes through, but I rarely comment. I love the fact that your family did this for you (or to you…however you want to look at it). Have a WONDERFUL birthday!!!

  25. Happy Birthday – you make 40 look GREAT! I just read your blog, so certainly don't know you at all, but from your blog it is so evident that you truly love life – you have a passion for your family and those around you. I love how you provide your opinions and showcase your life but you never detract from anyone else's choices or come off as "my way is the best way". That is very welcoming to a homebody like me! Your life is full to the brim, yet you write without that "I'm sooo busy" competitiveness that so many others have. I hope you enjoy your birthday surrounding by your absolutely amazing family (what a tribute to you!) and that you enjoy MANY more! You are truly beautiful inside and out

  26. You clearly live your life trying to make the world a better place. Your blog shows a little piece of how you do that. That is why I read your blog. Happy 40th Birthday!!!!

  27. Happy Birthday!! I do not personally know you but am inspired every with every post you write. Not because you have a perfect family… although seriously, you guys are adorable! It's because your love and dedication to each other shine through…and again SERIOUSLY adorable.

    I turn 40 this spring and I think 40 is going to be a great year!!

    Happy Birthday!

  28. Happy Birthday Shawni! I have never met you but you are a great example to me & I feel like I can be a better Mother everytime I read your blog. I feel inspired by you and always try and find a way to tell other mothers about your blog (even in the mothers room at the shopping centre)

  29. Shawni,

    Really, what a wonderful post! I think we all agree that you are one of the most beautiful people on the planet, both inside and out! Hope you have a wonderful birthday. Sending you lots of love from your old friends in VA!


    PS- Done any drawings lately?

  30. I have been reading your blog for a few years now. Thank you for elevating the job of motherhood to the status it should be, it is the most important thing in the world. You have your priorities straight and you are transparent about your struggles and shortcomings. you are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your life, your insights, and encouragement with us, Happy Happy Birthday. Hope you are spoiled rotten today.

  31. Happy Birthday!
    40's are the best…I'm already 6 years into my 40's and happier in my 40's then I was in my 30's.

    Love your blog.

    Have a great day!

  32. Shwani – you are an inspiration to young girls, – who aren't even anywhere near being a Mum – and make them want kids of their own! πŸ™‚

    Happy birthday!

  33. You inspire me with every post, Shawni. I hope your birthday is wonderful! I cried a little while reading this list. There are some things on there that I hope to someday have people say about me. I want to be a better person because of your example. Happy Birthday!

  34. What a wonderful post for a very very special and wonderful woman!!! I can recognize so many qualities in your sweet husband's description! They were there in your years of service as a missionary in Romania. So many people there benefited from your light and I know so many still do!!! You are such an inspiration! I hope you have a fabulous birthday!!!! Te pup! La Multi Ani, Sora!!! πŸ™‚

  35. This is awesome!
    I just wanted to say you are awesome. πŸ™‚ I found your blog a couple years ago after reading your book. (And it was so fun to meet you and sit next to you at your parents house at the retreat.) πŸ™‚ I keep up on your blog because it's like an extention of your book and it makes me a better person. Thank you!! and Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

  36. Happy Birthday Shawni!
    You inspire me (here in Canada) to be a better Mom everyday. So grateful you post so faithfully and for your Mother's Book of Secrets that I re-read often. Thanks for all you do!

  37. Happy Birthday Shawni! I wish we were neighbors, or at least great friends. You are the type of person I love to surround myself with, and the type of person I aspire to be like. Yours is the only blog I read anymore because I leave it feeling happy, encouraged, and inspired. You are a wonderful person!! Happy Birthday!!

  38. Shawni,

    Happy Happy Birthday to YOU~ You don't look a day over 29! seriously, you are beautiful, inside & out. I love your mommy heart and all that you share here on your blog and I know if I met you in person,I would love you even more.
    You are a rare gift in this world, one who truly gets what life is supposed to be and who we should live it for.
    Thank you for the time you took to look up the link to the Mormon videos for me, I'm just another person who reads your blog, yet you took the time to do that for me, that says EVERYTHING about who you are.
    I hope your birthday is very special and that you feel as special as you make everyone else feel….

    Tara Pollard Pakosta

  39. Happy birthday, Shawni! You don't know me, and I honestly don't know if we'll ever meet, but I attended a Time Out For Women and heart you speak last year. I've been following your blog ever since. Thank you for being an example to me and brightening my day with each post. Pretty impressive when you can touch the lives of complete strangers – just by being you! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  40. I have just recently found this blog and I fell in love with your whole family from the very first word I read. Happy Birthday! May it be everything you hope it is!

    Love from Cleveland.

  41. I've been inspired over and over from reading your blog. You are such a bright spot in the internet world. Thanks so much for the tme and sacrifices you make to keep blogging.

  42. How wonderful, you are so loved by your family. I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful blog, I found it a bit ago and thoroughly enjoy reading every post. You are such a wonderful example and I love that you make me feel like I can do better as well. So, thanks and hope you have the best birthday ever!

  43. Your dedication to your faith and family and keeping true to yourself are truly inspiring. I wish you all the best of everything on your special day. Welcome to the 40's!

  44. Shawni- I read your blog everyday. It truly is my favorite and you have inspired me to be the best mom I can be. I hope we can meet someday! Happy Birthday!

  45. Happy Birthday Shawni! I can't believe we are hitting the 4 0 mark! In my eyes we are still young! I think you look like a million bucks! I will always consider you one of my dearest friends. You are a constant example to me of true kindness, charity and love! I am so glad you will be moving even closer so we can see you more! I love you! Happy Birthday!

  46. Such a sweet post! Happy happy birthday!! My husband and I don't have "real" kids yet (only dogs) but I LOVE your blog because hopefully one of these days when we do have children that I can reference all of the good ideas that you have done with your family! You are a great inspiration! Now go and celebrate with a birthday cocktail!!

  47. Happy Birthday! I have no doubt it was wonderful, as your family clearly adores you! Here's to another fantastic year! 1/23 is my half birthday- I won't forget yours now πŸ™‚ Thank you for your inspiration.

  48. Happy Birthday!

    I love this post – the "40 things" are so great and Dave is right, I am so jealous of your arms! I love your blog, you are such an inspiration to me – you are so stylish, an amazing photographer, and such a devoted mom (and not just a mom to 1 but to 5 kids! Dang! I don't know how you do it!

    Hope your birthday is PERFECT.

  49. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAWNI! I love that you know your mission in life – to share the grace, love, goodness, blessings, and virtues of GOD! Thank you for doing that – I know it affects the world for the better! Hope your next 40 years are as beautiful as these last!!! πŸ™‚

  50. Hi Shawni. First of all, Happy Birthday!! I can't remember if your family mentioned this in their list, but you're very inspirational to me. Just from reading your blog, I see and really admire what a strong, caring woman you are. As a young woman(I'm 18), I can say that the young women in your church are lucky to have a role model and friend like you in their lives. I hope you have an truly incredible day with your lovely family.


  51. Happy Birthday!
    You have inspired me to want to do "hard things". I have become a better person, wife, mother, YW leader by reading your blog.
    Thanks for blogging and inspiring me!
    Franklin, Tn

  52. How sweet of Dave and the kids to hijack your blog, what sweet things to say. I especially like the one where Dave said you make him think he wears the pants in your relationship. You are an awesome mom and make me want to be a better one! Happy 40th!

  53. Happy Birthday! I love reading your blog, as a new mother it gives me hope that I will make it through the day. What a sweet list your family compiled for you. Enjoy your special day!

  54. LOVE this post! What a sweet family. They definitely LOVE you to pieces.
    Happy Birthday Shawni! I have never met you but I LOVE reading your blog. Your posts always inspire me to be better and do better. Thank You for sharing your life and your sweet family with all of us in the blogging world. Your whole family is amazing.

  55. Happy Birthday Shawni! I hope your day is special! Thank you for being such a great inspiration and example in my life. Your passion for motherhood, photography, life, the gospel is contagious! Thank you for helping all of us become a little better because of your fine example. You deserve the very best! Couldn't agree more with the list of 40 things… I think we are all envious of your arms! Happy 40th, even though you look more like 29!

  56. Happy Birthday. Some of your posts have really helped as a newer mom and I am glad you are willing to put you and your family out there. I love seeign how much you all love each other. Have a great day.

  57. Shawni,
    You have such a special gift- being able to touch the hearts of so many people. Thank you for sharing your family & life with all of us.
    I love reading your blog because I always feel inspired to be a better Mom & wife. You always seem to make life beautiful by taking time to enjoy the moments with your family. Thank you for your example & love. Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

  58. Forty is fabulous…I turned 40 last May. Happy Birthday, thank you for sharing your family and your wisdom and real life with us. Yours is the first blog I check everyday.

  59. Shawnie, Your blog is one of the great things I look forward to every morning! The way you mother inspires me. I love how you see beauty in every thing.
    Happy Birthday, and thanks for all you say and do to encourage us mothers out there!

  60. Happy Birthday Shawni! You truly inspire me each day. I often find myself in mothering situations thinking, "What would Linda or Shawni do?" I know you are not perfect but I really do aspire to be like you!

  61. Happy Birthday Shawni!! I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog because I have been so inspired by you in so many different ways. Thank you for taking the time to be such a great example, and I hope you have an amazing day!!

  62. I read your blog everyday. Seriously. I come her looking for positive, inspirational posts where I can learn something or least walk-a-way with a brighter smile and attitude. You never fail to lift me up some way. Mother is HARD. It's great to have somewhere to go be uplifted by someone who is so experienced at it. πŸ™‚

  63. Happy Birthday Shawni! I hope that you have a great day!
    I love that Dave (and the kids) hijacked your blog. You can feel their love for you!
    Thank you for all of your inspiring thoughts. And thank you for sharing so much of your life – I enjoy reading your blog!!

  64. Happy Birthday Shawni! I have been following your blog for sometime now. Don't even know how I came across it, but I love to check in on your beautiful family and read about your insight on motherhood. You are such a wonderful inspiration. I hope you have a great day!

  65. Happy birthday! What a special tribute to a special lady. Thanks for your uplifting, real and beautiful words and photos you share with the world.

  66. Happy Birthday. You are such an inspiration to me. I look up to you and love the bit of wisdom you impart on your blog. You make me want to be a better wife and mother. Again- Happy Birthday!

  67. Oh my gosh, what an awesome post for such a deserving woman! I just want to say Shawni's words at Time Out for Women, as well as this blog, have really and truly changed the type of mother I am. I really can't say thank you enough for giving me such vision and so many fantastic ideas.

  68. I'm not sure if my first comment worked or not, so I'll try again (and if it did work, then you just get even more love!) Happy birthday! I don't know you personally, only from your blog, but I feel like I know so much about you from your honest and candid writings. One thing I do know is that you are devoted to your family and to the Lord. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air!

    Your paralyzed friend,

  69. You remind me daily to be passionate about motherhood. I become more fiercely devoted everyday. Thanks so much for sharing yourself with all of us. Happy Birthday!

  70. Shawni! Happy birthday to a woman I admire so very, very much. While strangers (except for a few emails), you have changed my life and especially my mothering for good in so many, many ways. My husband hears about you and your family all the time and we say "We really should do that too". I love your optimism and the gorgeous lens through which you view life. I wish you all the best this year. Thank you for all you do to bless the lives of even strangers- may all that goodness come right back to you!

  71. Happy Birthday Shawni! You are an inspiration to me in many ways… I always find myself wanting to be a better person/mother when I am around you! You radiate beauty from the inside, out. Hope your day is fabulous. Happy Birthday!
    xoxo Tracey

  72. Happy birthday to Shawni!! You really are an inspiration and a beauty inside and out! Your family is so sweet to post all that, hope you have a wonderful day!

  73. You are an enormous inspiration to me. I am going to be first-time mom in a few months and you have such great tips on being a wonderful mother. Even my husband loves looking at your blog!

  74. Happy Birthday Shawni! Your blog is my very favorite! I love your sweet spirit, your beautiful photography, your devotion to God and family, and mostly your willingness to share it all. You inspire me to be a better mom and wife. Happy 40. xo – Jen

  75. so sweet – I'm sure that someone has already said this but I think that you are inspirational and help me to aim higher in my mothering and with my family. Happy Birthday!

  76. What a sweet post! You really do have an amazing family!
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. As it has been mentioned before, you inspire all of us to be a little better. Happy Birthday!!!

  77. I've never met you but I love your blog! It is so uplifting and inspiring and real! Thank you! and Happy Birthday to a fantastic person : )

  78. Happy Birthday! You don't know me but I "know" you. This post brought me to tears. What a lucky woman you are to have such a great family and to be such a great person yourself.
    Now I've got to figure out how to get some of that in me….
    I'll keep reading your blog. Maybe it will rub off.

  79. Happy Birthday Shawni! You deserve to be celebrated! I just want you to know what an encouragement you've been to me in this journey called Motherhood! I check my top sites every morning & get so giddy when I see that you have a new post up! I love every word you write & savor all the wise and thoughtful advice you share. From a mother of 3 in Ohio whose heart you have encouraged, thank you! Hoping that someday I'll have the opportunity to travel out west to attend one of your mothers retreats & meet you in person! Happy Birthday! May this be your greatest celebration yet!

  80. Happy birthday to you! Thanks for your posts that cheer me up, inspire me to be a better mom and wife, and not just inspire me but give me ideas I can use to get there! I'd say they made a good choice calling you "Mother of the Year" but that undersells you. May this day bring you lots of those great big beautiful smiles! You make the 40s look awesome.

  81. Happy Birthday! I love reading your blog. I have not found a lot of blogs that write about older kids and I love reading about them as they grow up b/c it gives me something to look forward to(except for that part where I only have 3 boys and no girls…but, take what you get!) especially from an LDS aspect.
    I hope you have a great day.
    Thank you for taking the time out of your life to share with all of us.

  82. Happy Birthday! Your blog is my favorite blog and I appreciate the time you take to write such thoughtful and inspirational posts. I love all your ideas/traditions and you're an inspiration! Your family is beautiful as well. Happy Bday!

  83. Love it! Happy Birthday! You are my hero (the big sister I don't have and need in my life to be able to look up to – even though you have no idea who I am :). I second all of those qualities. I just love your blog and your happy positive outlook on life. Hope your day is great!!!

  84. This is so sweet! Happy 20th birthday Shawni! πŸ™‚ I didn't know you were the YW president. That's a lot of work, but I'm sure you do an excellent job.
    My favorite thing about your blog is the way you capture your children's spirit through pictures. Simply beautiful.

  85. Happy Birthday Shawni! I read your blog daily, but rarely comment. I came out of lurkdom to wish you a happy 20/20 birthday. I am staring that one in the face too! Love your blog, your upbeat attitude, but most importantly the love and emphasis you put into your job

  86. Happy Birthday Shawni!! I love your inspiring words and how you keep it real talking about your struggles and also you triumphs throughout everyday life. Your focus on motherhood and passion to be a good mom is contagious! You are gorgeous and a great example to me! Thanks so much!

  87. Happy Birthday!! Even though I don't know you personally, I love that you inspire me to be a better mother, wife, friend, and daughter of God!

  88. This might be the cutest post I've ever read. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday Shawni! Thank you for your wonderful blog and all the happiness and realness that you bring to it πŸ˜€

  89. Shawni,

    This is Chris who won the Shabby Apple dress from your giveaway. I can't wear it without being grateful to you! Welcome to the fabulous 40s! (And you really make them look fabulous, too!) I think it's great that you got "rockin' arms" and "six feet of lusciousness" included in your birthday post. πŸ™‚

    Have a great day! You deserve it.

  90. oh miss shawni i hope you are having a fabulous day. i'm so glad i get to know you (and be related to you) in this life. you have truly inspired and influenced my life for good. you deserve every good thing that comes your way. let's get together soon.

  91. Happy Birthday. I wish that we were really friends, instead of just me knowing all about you from your blog. : )
    I love how you've inspired me to love my husband and kids all the more. I love how you love your family. Thanks for making such an impact.

  92. Happy Birthday Shawni – That was was sweetest post ever. You have a great husband and family. I have followed your blog for years. We met in person once and you have been a mentor to me on so many things. Thanks for sharing yourself with us and helping us want to be better mothers and woman. I hope you have a most wonderful day!!!!

  93. Hurray for Shawni!! Happiest of birthdays! I have been following your blog since your spot was posted, and I'm so glad. I feel like I have learned a lot from you and your sweet family. Thanks so much for sharing. All the best on your special day!

  94. This is kind of silly, but I've always been too shy to comment until now! You just never know who you are inspiring, and you'll probably never realize how many lives you've changed, even just through your blog. I found your blog through my sister (Megjill- she comments on here a lot more than I do!). THANK YOU for loving being a mother, it is so clear to see you are devoted to your family. You have helped me love being a mother even more. My sisters and I always say that you make us want to be better, without making us feel guilty for not being perfect. πŸ™‚ We just love you, and hope to someday meet you!
    Happy Birthday!

  95. I've been a stalker of yours for some time now, but had to come out of hiding today to wish you Happy Birthday!!! This post speaks to the kind of wife/mom/woman that you are and I want you to know that just by reading your blog, you have been a great example to me on how to be a better person in so many ways. Hope your day is fabulous!

  96. Happy Birthday! I have been a long time reader and your blog really is my most most favorite. I remember a few years ago making my husband come look at a few posts and saying, "I want our family to be like this one day!" I hope you have a wonderful day!

  97. Happy Birthday!
    I don't know you but you and your blog inspire me to be a better person, mother and wife. I adore that you are fiercely devoted to these three things.
    I look forward to each of your blog posts and hope that one day I can be like you. Thank you.

  98. This was so sweet!! I love it! Happy Happy Birthday!! I'm sure your cute family will spoil you all day! I hope I can be as amazing of a mom, wife, and woman as you one day. You truly inspire me.

  99. Happy Birthday Shawni! I love reading your blog! I found your blog on I am a beehive in my ward and read your blog so I know what I need to do to better myself to become a mother! Thank You for all of your inspiration! I hope I am as good of a mother as you someday!!!!!

  100. Happy Birthday Blog Queen! Your blog is an amazing narrative that is warmth and harmony. It is clear…there is an Enlightened Soul behind the words and pictures you share. Thank you for enriching the journey for us all.

  101. Happy Birthday! I've never met you, but you've inspired me in so many ways. I love your view on families & being a mom — you're so devoted to your husband {first πŸ™‚ – which I love!} and kids! I'm pregnant with my first, and I want to implement so many things you do as a mother into how I raise my kids! Thanks so much for your positive, influential aura. You just radiate of goodness, and it's so contagious & inspiring. Thanks for being such a beam of light to so many, including me!

    And what a sweet husband to write such a loving post to you! I can just tell you have a great family! Hope you have the best birthday! You are stunningly beautiful!

  102. Happy Birthday! I have loved reading your blog and learning so much from you. Thank you for your example! Hope your day is wonderful!

  103. When my 4 year old daughter slams the door, I remind myself that it makes Shawni feel better too:) Thanks for sharing so many wonderful messages through your blog, Timeout for Women, etc. Happy Birthday!

  104. Happy Birthday! My husband and I adopted your family's motto "We do hard things" and challening ourselves everyday has given us a better life. And you never would know the better life if you didn't try hard things. Thank you for that! You never know the impact you can have on a total stranger.

  105. What a gift to have your husband and children say and think those tributes. I love the inspiration I get from your blog and appreciate your deliberate mothering. Here's to a fantastic somethingth birthday! πŸ™‚

  106. Aw……I love it. What a wonderful sense of humor your family ALL has. I'm sure they've learned it from you and obviously your hubby! Hope it's a fabulous day!!

  107. Happy Birthday! Reading your blog is something I always look forward to. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are truly an amazing person!

  108. (this is the first time I've posted a comment, too, even though I'm a faithful reader and I don't follow a ton of blogs): Finding your blog was one of the best things that has happened for me as a mom. I saw motherhood through "new eyes" thanks to you. You usually post something that I'm dealing with and I learn so much from you. And then you got called as YW pres the same time I did and I loved hearing you talk about your calling…I could relate with that and find comfort from the struggles and success' you were having (and inspiration to do my calling with more love like you did). I really feel like you have a gift with words and with photos that reaches into my heart. Thanks for what you give up to carve out time to do this blog to share what matters most to you. I appreciate it so much. I hope I look even half as good at 40 as you do!

  109. Happy Birthday!. I love your blog and I don't know that I've ever left a comment before. I really feel uplifted after reading your blog and it helps that feeling stays with me as I raise my 2 youngin's. Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts with us.

  110. Happy Birthday, Shawni! All the comments here show what a positive influence you've had on so many people's lives- I hope you're having a well deserved wonderful day πŸ™‚ xx

  111. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! That post was so sweet and funny! πŸ™‚

    I appreciate all of your wisdom and inspiration as a mother and wife, and I admire your humble and kind attitude. I hope you are having a wonderful birthday, and a fun time celebrating! You certainly deserve it!!!

  112. Happy Birthday, Shawni! I love your example of conscience motherhood and being a radiant daughter of God! Thank you for your example, it has blessed me and my family!!

  113. Happy Birthday Shawni! I am so grateful for your blog and the positive spirit you bring to the role of mothering! Thank you for sharing your time and your thoughts with us all! I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  114. Happy birthday, Shawni! Though I have never met you, your enthusiasm and zest for life radiant so beautifully through your blog. You inspire me in so many ways. I hope your day is magical.

  115. Happy Birthday!Your blog has been my best discovery of 2011. I found in your posts so many great ideas and good answers that helped me be a better mom to my children. Thank you for taking the time to write.

    May your day be filled with all things good!

  116. Happy Birthday Shawni! I log into my computer every single morning with a cup of coffee and read your blog – all the way from Australia. I love your zest for life, your passion for your family and your quick wit! I laugh every time you write MAN ALIVE – it just shows how funny you are. Enjoy yourself and reading all your messages. Your beautiful family are so lovely for 'hacking' you. X

  117. I love that you aren't afraid to cover all the nitty gritty, but it is always in a positive way….plus I would have never known what in the world to do about the "big" talk if I hadn't run across your blog.

    Happy Birthday!

  118. Dear Shawni,
    I found your blog over 2 years ago and read through the whole thing and saved post's on my favorites of wonderful Motherhood idea's/lesson's you had written about. You inspire me to me a better Mother, and to remember that even during the tough times, this is the best calling a girl could ever have in life!
    Happy Birthday from another gal who cries over newborns, too!

  119. What a great post! Love reading your blog because you remind how lucky I am to be a mom and make me strive to be a better version of myself! Happy Birthday πŸ™‚

  120. I read your blog every day, I'm so glad I came upon it a couple of months ago. You are so inspiring and I learn so much about being a better parent every time I read it. Happy Birthday πŸ™‚

  121. My husband calls you my hero…that has to tell you how amazing I think you are! Thank you for making me want to me better in all aspects of life!

    Thanks for taking the time to do this blog that inspires so many!

  122. Happy Birthday Shawni, 40,40,40!!!!
    I write that with excitement, I loved turning 40. I am super excited to turn 50 this year. Enjoy your day, enjoy your 40's. Enjoy your family.

  123. Happy Birthday! Thanks for taking the time out of your incredibly busy life to share little positive tidbits about life, motherhood, faith and love with all of us. I always feel happy and uplifted after reading here…such a welcome relief. I love how you keep it real, but also keep it positive. Enjoy your day!

  124. S-Superwoman
    H-Happily serving
    A-Always put together
    W-Willing to keep learning & growing
    N-Naturally beautiful {inside & out}

    Don't know you, but feel like I do. You have been an amazing gift in our family's lives because you've introduced me to so many alternative ways of mothering & parenting. I love your book, your blog, your ideals, and the way you take such incredible joy in the journey that is motherhood. I hope to become more like that to my kids. Your children & husband are blessed to have you in their lives.
    Love, Karli

  125. Happy Birthday…

    I came across your blog a few months ago and read it everyday…You are such an inspiration and I feel relaxed and happy when i read your blog.. I love that you are real and love your positive nature…have to learn a lot from you :)Have a great day πŸ™‚

  126. Happy Birthday Shawni, I met you through reading your fabulous book "Mother's Book of Secrets" and since then I have been reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your family life with all of us, and for inspiring me to be always a better mom.

  127. La multi ani to the nicest and most beautiful woman. Really, we all thought we had a super model serve the people of Romania. You are an amazing example to so many. You are an inspiration and for that we thank you so much. Hope your day was amazing. Love, the Icleanu's (Consuela, George, Madalina si Cristi si familiile lor)

  128. Happy birthday! How sweet of your family to write such sweet comments. Who cares if you are 40….it's just a number and all that matters is how old you FEEL!

    By the way, we share this special day! I am 36 today! =)

  129. Happy Birthday Sunshine! I can tell your family loves and values your hard work and dedication. I met you for a few minutes at TOFW and felt pure bliss and happiness. What a blessing you have been to so many! Enjoy your day…you deserve it!

  130. Happy Birthday Shawni,
    Thanks for all your insight and perspective. I love your blog! It is such a delight to read. I have learned so much of how I want to raise my family and all the fun traditions I want to start! I'm definitely a girl that loves loves traditions! Thanks for being such a wonderful example of what motherhood is all about.

  131. You inspire me to focus on my family and put my man first. Thanks to you i find joy in motherhood and realize that everyone has trenches to climb out of. You dont look forty! And i am so glad i made the effort to have you sign my copy of your book.. love ya!

  132. Reading your words and your insight makes me want to be a better Mother, wife and daughter of God. I don't know if there is a greater compliment that I could give. Happy Birthday!

  133. Thanks for sharing your family and expertise with the world. I've gleaned great ideas for my 5 kids from your experiences with yours. I'm especially remembering to soak up the newborn stage I'm in now. Hope it was a wonderful day spent doing the things you love.

  134. I don't know you at all, but I love the example you set daily. You seem to be a tremendously positive, kind, and loving woman. The way you mother inspires me. Thanks for sharing yourself with us every day. Happy birthday!

  135. Seriously a huge fan, Shawni. {Amy Chua is coming to St. Louis to speak in a few weeks and I will be front and center!} I love how you challenge your readers AS you contemplate with the truest desire how to be the mother God made you to be. I love your photography, your insight, your ability to make your blog real, honest, thought-provoking, and funny ~ all at the same time! And now I have to show my husband this post … he has just two years to think of his 40 reasons…How AWESOME is David for this??

  136. what a sweet post!! i just started reading your blog a few days ago…and i absolutely LOVE it! you are so inspiring and have such a wonderful family.

    ps. i read the post about motherhood (you wrote it awhile back) and i just checked out the books you recommended that were written by your mom. thanks for the recommendations.

    hope you had a wonderful day!!

  137. Happy Birthday, Shawni!!! What a precious post from your family. I love reading your blog; I always feel good after reading your words, whether it's feeling lighter, happier, more spiritually connected, or motivated to be a better Mama to my little ones. Thank you for sharing your family and time with us!! πŸ™‚

  138. I've never left a comment on your blog, but I read it all the time. When I see how busy you are and how much you accomplish, it inspires me to accomplish more than I think I can. Thanks for all the wonderful posts! And have a Happy Birthday!

  139. i have read your blog for over five years. and you have changed me. i will forever be in your debt for showing me the beauty in motherhood. my four children (soon to be 5) have a better mother now and although life is still hard, i can now see and appreciate the moments of beauty.

    thank you.
    you are wonderful.

  140. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today is my Mother's birthday too. So it's a good day for mother's of 5 to be born:)

    I love that you are so passionately and genuinely devoted to your family. That you put your husband first and together you focus on your children. I love that you put your love and energy and effort into raising God-fearing, good people that will bless the world.


    and p.s. this was so sweet of Dave…

  141. Happy Birthday! You inspire me:) I just finished the book you and your mom wrote. It truly has made me a better mother and wife. I read your sweet blog everyday and find strength in it. Hope it was a spectacular birthday

  142. Shawni,
    I 100% admire you! Happy 40th Birthday!!! You are so beautiful and you have such an amazing family. I LOVE your ideas, your values, your way of decorating your home, your way of parenting. I wish I knew you in person. I guess I'd have to move to AZ though. Your family is so great to put that post up about you—your husband, Dave, is a pretty cool guy!
    HAPPY Birthday!!!!
    Tami Johnson from Utah

  143. Shawni- I don't know you in real life but you seem like an amazing woman and mother. I appreciate your positive example of motherhood and all that you are willing to share. I love good, righteous mothers who are not afraid to admit they love motherhood! HOpe you have a very happy birthday!

  144. Happy Birthday Shawni! I don't know you but I started reading your blog last year when I had my first baby boy, Max. Now that I have my second, Jack, I love reading all your parenting tips and seeing how you are such a great person and mom. I look up to you and feel so encouraged when I read your words. So thank you.

  145. Happy Birthday! I absolutely love your blog! I have four kids ages 6yrs to 6 months. The few minutes that I take every day to read your blog is my me time! The rest is spent with them. But because of those few minutes I believe I am a better mother. You inspire me to give more, love more, even when I don't think I have an ounce more to give. I have always loved being a mom, but I think now I have learned to be more delibrate in my mothering. So many of your ideas, and your parents ideas have become a regular in my routine. (I saved and bought myself an adorable repenting bench!! I love it!)Thank you for all the time and energy you spend keeping your blog up. So many are truly, truly blessed because of it!

  146. Dearest Shawni – You don't know me at all, but I think your birthday is the perfect day to let you know you have changed my life and the mother I am through your blog. I have tears in my eyes because of the gratitude I feel for you and your work on this blog. I am a BYU Nursing Graduate with 4 little ones who is happily married in CO. The ups and downs of motherhood have given me a ride to heights and depths more than I ever thought possible. Your blog has given me concrete ways to be better, inspiration to face every day more uplifted, and the humor to keep it all in perspective. I am serious when I say generations that come after me will be better because of YOU. Thank you, Shawni from the bottom of my heart. And I wish you a very Happy Birthday! – Julie

  147. I love this post and the 40 things your family love about you. I too am turning 40 in a few days. I would love my 3 boys and husband to say similar things about me, but I think I would be a bit afraid to put them to the test!
    I ahve been loving your blag all the way from Australia and hope you have had a great birthday, and a fantastic year to come ( even referenced you in one of my blof entries…

  148. Happy Birthday to someone who makes me want to be better everyday! I totally laughed at the 6 feet of lusciousness because (and I am only 5'4) that sounds like something my husband would say too! Happy Happy Birthday!!

  149. What a great post hubby and kids. I love your blog Shawni and even though they would never give up your age I want to wish you a very happy bday.

  150. Happy birthday! Your blog is my most favorite read! I feel lucky to have had a few choice moments with the Eyres in my life and I'm glad I get to "know" you, too.

  151. I didn't get on the computer yesterday- so this is late- but I just had to take a quick moment to say thank you for being you! You are amazing and beautiful inside and out. Thank you for being real-I am inspired and uplifted every time I read your blog- stuggles and all. I hope you know that there are billions of us out here that have never met you, but who love you and pray for you and your family! HAPPY HAPPY BIRHTDAY!!

  152. Happy Birthday! (Ok, I'm a day late) better late than never! You don't know me, but I feel like I know you. Thanks to YOU! Thanks for the advice, the uplifting thoughts, the pictures, etc. I could go on and on. Thanks for speaking at TOFW! That's where my "crush" on you all began;) You are great! Hope that you had a wonderful day! Here is to being one year older and wiser too! Happy Birthday….to YOU!

  153. Happy Birthday! I don't know how I missed this post yesterday but I hope you enjoyed your day. I love the honesty in your blog and the closeness of your family, thank you for sharing them with us!

  154. Happy Birthday, Shawni! I've read your blog for a long time now and I think this is my first comment EVER. πŸ™‚ I loved this post written by your family. You are an inspiration to so many mothers, including myself. You have an approachable style on your blog and offer wonderful insight about parenting and life. I always feel uplifted after reading what you have to share…and that is what keeps me coming back. I think this opportunity you have taken to share what you know and feel is an incredible way to strengthen and build families and the Lord's Kingdom.

    You're a gem!
    Andrea Davis

  155. What a wonderful thing for your husband to do!! I've been reading your blog for three years and it is one of my favorites. You have inspired me to be a better mother and a more appreciative wife. Hope you had a great birthday.

  156. Happy Belated! My big birthday is next year πŸ™‚
    I just love reading your blog and so enjoy your posts. I know we don't know each other personally but just from reading your words I know what a kind woman you are. I hope this year is filled with many blessings for you and your family!

  157. Happy Birthday Shawni. Though I've never met you, it's easy to see what a great mother/wife/daughter/friend you are! It would be fun to meet you some day.

  158. A few lines from a German birthday song:

    "Wie schΓΆn, dass Du geboren bist, wir hΓ€tten Dich sonst sehr vermisst."

    (How nice that you were born, otherwise we would really miss you!)

    Happy belated birthday wishes to you from Germany!

    You inspire me to be a better person. Reading your blog gets me excited about photography and motherhood (I'm just a newlywed at the moment)

  159. I didn't get to comment yesterday, but I wanted to be sure to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and take a minute to say Thank You for your inspiring words. I read your blog on a daily basis and learn so much from you and the way you live your life and raise your beautiful family in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    You are a wonderful example to all!

  160. How sweet! Happy Birthday to someone whom I've never met but has taught me so much and given me a spot on the internet to get away from the world a place that I always leave with a drive to do good and be better…at just about everything! A wonderful place….created by someone beautiful inside and out! Happy Birthday hope its awesome!

  161. How sweet! Happy Birthday to someone whom I've never met but has taught me so much and given me a spot on the internet to get away from the world a place that I always leave with a drive to do good and be better…at just about everything! A wonderful place….created by someone beautiful inside and out! Happy Birthday hope its awesome!

  162. Your blog is such an inspiration to me… I have never met you, and yet I feel as if you're my next door neighbor, giving such creative advice that I hope to someday soon use as wife and mother… may God bless you and your family in the coming year! happy birthday, Shawni!!!

  163. Today is the first day I have ever SEEN your blog. Happy Belated Birthday Super Mum (orMom).

    Clearly you have a wonderful family that love you very much. Seems like you all deserve all the happiness that comes your way.

  164. This made me cry because the love in your family is palpable. I don't know you personally, but feel like I do through your inspiring blog. Thank you for being such a great example of someone who loves motherhood and tries so hard to be the best you can be. Happy Birthday!

  165. I don't know how I missed this post! You are my favorite blogger. I love reading your well-written, always uplifting, makes-me-a-better-mom- blog (and I love reading your parents' books as well). Happy Birthday. I only wish I look half as great as you do when I turn 40.

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