In a special awards gala dinner last month, I was named the “Young Mother of the Year” for my state by the American Mothers Association.

I know, I know, I think the nomination form failed to mention some key points that may have really docked my score had they come to the judges’ attention: things like how I slam doors when I’m mad and how I missed my daughter’s dance performance last week.

I know that there are so many other mothers who are much more worthy of this title than I am. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. But I am very honored. And my kids, bless their sweet little hearts, had stars in their eyes that they got to go to such a special dinner for their mom (Lucy got to stay home with a great babysitter).
I think it’s interesting that my own mother happened to be the “Young Mother of the Year” in Utah years ago. I still remember when she gave her acceptance speech. My younger, teenager self was there in the audience with stars in my eyes, so proud of her.
She and my Dad flew down for the big event.My in-laws were in town from Idaho too and so many kind friends and family came to show their support.
Each of them is an amazing mother in her own right. I’m so grateful for their examples of honoring motherhood in my life.Elle was the self-assigned “event photographer” for our family.
She got some interesting shots.The Mother of the Year and Young Mother of the Year from 2010 spoke for a while, there were “Honored Mothers” who have done outstanding things in their communities who were recognized, and then the new Mother of the Year and I gave our little acceptance speeches.
They requested that I bring whatever I felt described me and display it there:
My table looked a little silly next to the Mother of the Year’s table which was laden with awards of all sorts. She is quite an amazing lady.In April I will go to the national convention and meet all the other “Young Mothers” from across the United States and I’ll meet regularly with the local chapter of American Mothers. Hopefully I will have some opportunities to do one of the things I love most: promote the power of motherhood.

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  1. Congratulations, Shawni!

    I am thrilled that you will be representing Arizona mothers! I, too, was humbled to hear recently that I will have the opportunity this year to represent Utah mothers as "Young Mother of the Year". I am looking forward to meeting you at the National Convention. Our moms have been friends for ages, so it will make the meeting you all the more anticipated (on my part)!

    Emi Dalton Edgley

  2. Wow! I had no idea there are awards for mothers! Congratulations! And you get mad?! haha… makes me feel better : )

  3. Congratulations! I am not surprised you were chosen. From everything I know about you, you are a fabulous mother! And how fun to see your cute kiddos in those pictures looking so proud of you.

  4. Congratulations! what an honor, but more importantly, what a legacy of wonderful mothering! I have learned so much from reading your blog and so enjoy hearing about your family and seeing all of their smiling faces!!

  5. Congratulations, what an honor. You should feel deserving because you are.
    I know several people who have more than 5 children, but anyone who has the courage to have and raise 5 or more children is deserving of all kinds of awards.
    Hey…you have to fix the red (vampire) eyes on your photos.

  6. It was fun to be there! When I heard you were nominated I thought it was the perfect title for you. You are such a natural at being a mom. You make me want to be a better one! Congrats Shawni!!!

  7. Congratulations! That is awesome – makes me really look forward to motherhood, especially among all the skeptics in this world…. I hope it's all you are making it out to be!

  8. Shawni,

    I came over to your blog after seeing the comment on my blog from "Cardalls" telling me about you. As soon as your blog came up I recognized it. I am not a blog surfer. I haven't been to very many blogs but I had been to yours somehow. Then I noticed we have a mutual friend in Erika Garner.

    I would love to email with you a bit before the convention in April. If you are interested in this my email is

    Congratulations by the way.


  9. I wondered if you would go to the convention. My mom goes every year, she just finished her 2 year term as the National President and is an officer now. She has done it for many years and I believe rubbed shoulders with your mom way back when. Raelene Hill is her name. She is busy working on the yearbooks for this years convention as I type. I love your display!

  10. Congratulations! Although I just found you out here in blogland and I live hundreds of miles away … you inspire me all the time! I think you're one amazing Mama!! Thank you.

  11. I absolutely think you deserve this award – even though I know nothing about the nomination process.

    In fact, can someone enlighten me? Is this an organization that ladies belong to (kind of like an honors society or a sorority)and they vote amongst their members? Or does a 'panel of experts' suddenly one day telephone or postal mail a lady telling her that she's the best mother in her state for that calendar year?

    I hope it doesn't make moms feel like they're in a competition. Or does it?

  12. From my view, you deserve this. Bless you for mothering TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY…and for your encouragement to so many others. Your message seems to be *you don't have to get it right to do it well.*

  13. You are perfect for this honor! I think you've inspired countless of us readers in ways you don't even know, and helped us all carry on a little bit better in motherhood.

  14. Yay! I'm so glad you were awarded this – your strong devotion and love for your family and the gospel are such an inspiration to me! Thanks for continuing to blog. 🙂


  15. Congratulations! Very well deserved (from what I read on your blog). You inspire me to be a better mother & we need more of you out in this world to make women WANT to be better!

  16. I just love your pictures. I have a canon Rebel XT but don't know what kind of lence to get to take bright pictures like yours. when there is no good light my pictures looks awful.

  17. Garrity, I'm actually not entirely sure how the nomination process goes, but I just know that people can nominate anyone they feel may be a good candidate. It doesn't feel like a competition, at least not from my point of view…just a nice way to recognize motherhood.

  18. Congratulations!!! Wonderful! I'm a nominee for my state for 2012. I just found your blog and can't wait to read more and see more of your beautiful family. Have fun at the national convention!

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