(That’s short for Time Out For Women, in case you, like me before this weekend, have never been to one of these shin digs.)

And if you haven’t been, man alive you better figure out how to get yourself to one because I can’t believe how well-run and outstanding this whole event was. I really was in awe.

The first night we missed a couple speakers because we were trying to finagle our arrival, breathe a sigh of relief that we both got there, the whole car rental thing without a driver’s license (yes, I lost mine months and months and months ago and still haven’t replaced it…), etc. before we left for Ogden.

BUT, we got there in time to hear one of my heroes, Cheiko Okazaki, give her eloquent remarks. Oh man I love that sweet eighty-three-year-old woman most especially for this talk she once gave called “Lighten Up,” (it’s an excerpt from her book and I have no idea what that blog/site is that I’m linking to…it’s just the only place I could find her talk written out).

Then we heard Jenny Oaks Baker play the violin and it seriously makes me tear up even thinking about it all these days later. I promptly bought her newest CD and came home and announced to my family that it would now be our standard Sunday music (as my kids gawked at me since I was all teary-eyed even talking about it) because it is SO beautiful. If you want to hear a little snippet of her playing click here, but be ready to have your eyes well up from the beauty.

Oh man I wish I could play the violin like that!

My Mom and I were the first speakers on Saturday. I really loved it. Of course, I have some things I wish I’d said and I learned a lot for next time, but I must admit it was actually fun to be up there…now that’s something I sure didn’t think I’d be saying!

I’m a little shabby on the pictures we took, but the one below is of Mariama Kallon (in the middle). She told the story of her youth…how she endured life growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, witnessing the violent murders of parents and siblings, and then finding the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it changed her life.
Her story inspired the leaders of the event to head up a hygiene -kit-making-project to send to Haiti. I think there were close to 400 kits assembled on Saturday thanks to so many good women.

The above picture is the outstanding orchestrator of the event (on the left) and three of the wonderful speakers (my Mother included).

And here we are with Ardith Kapp along with my “guests” for the event…my two sister-in-laws and my most loyal, sweet friend from high school (on the left). It was so fun to share the day with them. Thanks for coming, guys!

Oh man, I am SO lucky to get to call these guys my parents!

I don’t know why I always feel so compelled to take pictures out my airplane window on trips, but I do. Something about the beauty of clouds forces me do it.

What a trip. Now I’m anxious for Spokane in April!

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  1. Hi Shawni-
    I love your blog and have been secretly following it for sometime. I went to High school with your sister-in-law Kara. You should see if you and your mom can get yourself scheduled into the Boise TOFW in November!!

  2. I just read your day-to-day mothering post, and I just loved every word of it. Thank you once again for your inspiring words. You are such a darling mother.

  3. I have been to four TOFW here in the valley now. Back in October was the last one and Jenny Oaks Baker performed and was AMAZING. I seriously felt so inspired by her music! It was truly an awesome experience! Are you and your mom planning on speaking at the one this year in Phoenix? I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and didn't get any splotches on your neck:-)I wish I could've been there to listen to you both.

  4. Going to TOFW in October here in Texas! It will be my first, though I've been saying I wanted to go for YEARS. I'm glad it went well for you.
    Anyway, I actually wanted to comment on your last post. You talked about how our struggles may seem small, but they are real. I can't tell you how that touched me. My "problems" seem small, or even not like problems at all, to others. And if I look at what I face and compare it to those around me, sometimes I feel like they are small, too. But other days those problems seem overwhelming. I pray and cry, and eventually things settle back down. Like you said, each of us has things to deal with. Sometimes they're big, sometimes they're small, but they're all real. And they're all opportunities to grow.
    Thank you!

  5. I SOOOO wanted to be there! I about cried when the tickets were sold out. I wanted to see every speaker that was on that list (yes, that includes you and your mother:) I live in Riverton, UT so it's not too far ya know? My sweet hubby even gave me permission to go to Spokane to see you and your mom so I might….but I sure would have loved to see Cheiko also! Congratulations too on not having a panic attack or getting splotchy! I totally do that too, when I cry or am nervous, therefore I refuse to speak publicly at all so you have my complete admiration!

  6. I bet you were fantastic at TOFW with your mom. Together — what a team.
    I wanted to comment about the book blog — I'm so thrilled to see all of the positive comments from you and your blog followers. The love of reading is the most important thing you can give/teach your kids. Reading to them, encouraging them to read on their own and letting them catch you reading — all very important. Reading also increases writing skills ………..love it. Trips to the library — so important also –contributes so much to learning. You cannot over do this. (Never to be humble opinion of course)

  7. i have never been to a tofw event but they sound amazing! praise God that your speaking went so well 🙂 i am touched that you share in ministering to others with your mother…what a blessing. 🙂

  8. Thank You so much for sharing your wonderful message at TOFW. The whole event was remarkable and we all appreciate the special part you and your mother contributed.
    Best Wishes Always!

  9. Oh my! You all just seem like family to me! I recognize so many of the faces from other Time Out's that I've been to. Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta to name a few. I am from Canada.

    I would LOVE to hear you and your mom someday at a future Time Out in Canada. ; D

    Thanks for sharing with us all. Especially that link. I truly did cry when I heard her playing her violin. WOW!

  10. Shawnie – we're heading up to ut – I'll have to ask you where that pizza place is. We just read that store on Mariama kallon – her story is amazing!! That is so cool you got to see her! love the dear diary pics – ha ha

  11. Hi Shawni—I was at the Ogden TOFW and it was AMAZING !! …. thank you and your mom for the wonderful insight to raising children! I loved every word. I was telling a friend of mine about the event and she mentioned she follows your blog. So forgive me for snooping, I was compelled to check it out. I wanted to let you and your readers know that Mariama's story was in the November, 2006 issue of the New Era. It's called "Learning to Hope" by Mariama Kallon. You can look it up at http://www.lds.org through magazines, for those wanting to find it. It's an incredible story.

  12. Shawni—
    I was also at the TOFW in Ogden and it was amazing. I was able to go with one of my dearest friends, what an inspiring weekend. I wanted to thank you for your sweet words about Lucy. I have a child with Cerebral Palsy and I too, have found that I am his best expert. It's taken me a long time to realize that my husband and I are his experts. Thanks for the encouragement. I wish you and your family all the best.

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