I swear some days it really seems like that good old Hillary was right when she said it takes a village to raise kids.

Man alive, I just have to say I am so incredibly thankful for my “village” of friends who are willing to pick up the slack on carpools while I’m out of town. (Grace had soccer practice and a game, Elle had two Halloween parties, Max had one, the kids had the Primary Program practice, Max had an overnight survival camp, Grace had two late-nights, etc., etc.),

It helps me put in perspective all the stuff that moms do when it takes two hours just to try to figure out rides and arrangements for my kids for one measly night away!

You see, my mom and I got to speak at Time Out for Women in Las Vegas on Saturday.And Dave was in China. (Which also puts in perspective all the things he does to help us stay afloat around here. He’s always so willing to drive people where they need to be and pick up things at the grocery store and tuck kids in bed when I’m gone.)

So my very sweet and capable niece who is a senior in high school got the “privilege” of staying with our crazy kids overnight.

Poor girl.

I left her with one sheet of instructions I scribbled out while trying to break myself free to get to the airport. She came through it all as graceful as could be (I had no question she would), despite the fact that from what I gather, Lucy threw a spectacular array of tantrums. (She keeps getting more impressive with those things…I guess the magic of turning four didn’t turn them off after all, gosh darn it!)

I scrambled to throw my stuff in a suitcase, kiss my kids goodbye, and got frustrated with myself that I still haven’t made it to the store to get some new lipstick (I’ve been borrowing Grace’s from her dress-up make-up pack she got for Christmas two years ago for the last couple months).

I was so mired down by all the details I was leaving behind until as I walked along that corridor to my gate it gradually hit me:

There was NO ONE clinging to my legs.

There was NO ONE lagging behind slowly trying to walk and play on my iPhone at the same time.

There was NO ONE fighting or arguing (at least not that I was in charge of).

I had no computer to lug around, no heavy camera bag, no sticky fingers grabbing at me, only one bag to watch out for.

I hate to admit it, because I adore being with my children, but the realization that I was all by myself as I closed in on the gate started to give me a little spring in my step.

Then I started thinking about the fact that I got to go be in an auditorium filled with almost 2,000 wonderful women for a day and a half…which was exactly what I needed right then.

And that thought right there caused me to almost do a little jig (but not really because that would be kinda scary).

I sat in my seat in the airplane and just stared straight ahead and let my brain just think all by itself with no interruptions for the whole flight.

Sometimes I forget how it feels to just sit down and hear nothing but the whir of the airplane engine.

Of course, I knew I’d miss those interruptions soon enough, but right then? I was in Heaven.

I’ll have to write more about the inspiration I felt at Time Out later, because man oh man, it was big.

But for now I’ll just say I felt so lucky to present with, and be taken care of by these people:(John Bytheway, Ardith Kapp and Dallyn Bayles had already left by the time we took this picture.)

And to have a sweet friend join us there as well:
(So great to see you, Kelli!)

Then to come home to my wonderful “village” all inspired and ready to conquer the world.

If I can only figure out how to have that “high” stick around for a while…

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  1. Sometimes we just need a little alone time! Just bought tickets for the SL Time Out – can't wait to hear/see you! Hope you and your cute family are doing well.

  2. Shawni – I just wanted to say thank you for your helpful ideas, talk and testimony at time out. I could have listened to you and your mom for another couple of hours! I know it's tricky to get everything done to be able to leave town, (my breaking away to get to Vegas was a similar experience…) and I wanted to say thank you for doing it, so that you could share your talents with us/me. You are an inspiration, and I'll be frequenting your blog in the future. Here's to keeping the "high" this week.

  3. I was also at TOFW in Las Vegas, and absolutely LOVED it! You and your mom are amazing and I learned so much from you. I bought your book and it is just what I need to get through this fun crazy time of life of raising my sweet kids. I also have a Max and Lucy, so I instantly new you were awesome! Thanks for being an inspiration to all of us!

  4. Shawni,I have been reading your blog for a long time now but have never commented, which is so silly because I am so grateful for all that I learn from you! Thank you for all that you do and for the example that you set for so many. I learn something new from every single post. It is evident that you are doing such a great job raising your family, even though there are bumps along the way.
    When I saw that you and your mom are speaking at the Time Out in SL, I knew I had to be there. My husband got me your book for Mother's Day and I can't wait to hear you in person!
    Thanks again, McKelle

  5. Shawni, I am so glad that you got some time away. I know how crazy it can be to get away. It took me forever to be able to get away to Vegas to see you at TOFW. You were amazing! I very much needed to hear what you and your mom talked about. I realized that I try too hard to be something that I don't need to be. I just need to be myself.

    Thank you for your example and for your amazing words of inspiration.

  6. I've only been to one TOFW and it was in San Diego years ago…it was such an inspirational event and I am re-inspired to attend one again…let us know when you're in the SLC/Provo/Ogden area again…You're an amazing woman!!

  7. Hi Shawni,
    I wanted to let you know that I really loved the presentation you and your mom did this past weekend. I loved every word! I was there with a group of girlfriends and we were all talking afterward about how inspired we were by the two of you.

    I'm sure with 5 kids it was quite the sacrifice to make it, but I think your example and ideas helped many, many women.

    I wanted to come meet you & say thank you in person, but I was up on the balcony. Just know that your efforts were very appreciated! 🙂

  8. It was so great hearing from you and your mom and to even get the chance to meet you in person! Thanks for all your time/service in helping me grow to be a better mother and person! My dream is to attend a Power of Moms Retreat one day!

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