Sunday, May 01, 2011

Mother of the Year

My dear sister Shawni dreamed of being a mother pretty much her whole life.  She's reach out for every baby she saw from the time she could toddle around and she couldn't get enough of each of our newborn siblings.  When someone asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she was always quick to answer "a mommy" with a huge smile on her face.  And when they asked how many children she wanted, she'd say "about 20."

I'll never forget the beauty of seeing her as a mother for the first time. I was living in Boston and she was in DC.  I missed the train to the plane and ended up hitching a ride with a stranger to make my flight and get there asap to see my sister in her glory. She seriously radiated joy as she presented her precious little Max to me. She had arrived. And when her second baby came a little sooner than expected, she took on mothering those two babies with grace, determination and great success.  After the craziness of two kids so close in age, she had to do a little sweet talking to get her next three children.  And when Lucy came along, it became quite obvious that their family was complete.  So she didn't quite get her 20 kids.  But wow, she's a masterfully wonderful and deliberate mother to the five lucky children she's been blessed with.

While I had to be the leader in many things as we grew up (I'm 18 months older than Shawni), it was so wonderful for her to be the leader when it came to motherhood.  By the time I had my first child, she already had two and was able to show me the ropes.  We talked for hours almost every day as we cleaned our kitchens and did our laundry on opposite sides of the country (Shawni in DC and me in California) and we flew out to be with each other and get our little toddlers together a few times a year (can't remember quite how we made that happen - but we did!).  I loved watching Shawni mother and hearing her thoughts about everything as we'd talk on the phone.

Shawni started recording all her mothering thoughts and ideas and methods on a blog and her wonderfully warm and practical writing style along with her compelling story of seeking and finding a diagnosis for Lucy brought thousands to her blog.  She's helped countless moms learn and grow while keeping her family history and her mothering journal via blog.

A few months ago, she was named the Arizona Young Mother of the Year by the American Mothers organization.

Then last Friday, I had the honor of being there to see her named the National Young Mother of the Year at the American Mothers convention in Salt Lake City.  It was extra wonderful to see her get this honor since our mom was the Utah Young Mother of the year 30 years ago.

I'm so proud of my sister.


Here are me and my mom with Jared's mom who's been involved with American Mothers for a long, long time.
I'm so blessed to have these two amazing mothers as examples!

7 comments:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

How neat! My grandma was awarded the Ohio Mother of the Year in like 1992? That was such a big deal! Congrats to your sister and mother!

shawni said...

Oh Sar, you are the best. Thanks for these kind words and thanks so much for coming amidst all the crazy things you had going on. I love you with all my heart.
Love, Shawni

Hilary said...

Shawni is a pretty amazing mom. I love reading her blog. It sometimes reminds me how amazing being a mom is. PUlls me out of the trenches a bit. :)

Jennifer Knight said...

Wow! She hasn't even said anything on her blog... she is so humble. Congrats, Shawni!

emily ballard said...

What a wonderful tribute to your sister!

Eyrealm said...

Love seeing this great entry! For some reason it didn't show up on my blog reader. It was SO fun having you there with us!

I was really only the Utah Young Mother. Shawni has gone national! Way beyond me...and I love it!

Whitney Johnson said...

Saren --

Happy Mother's Day!

It's pretty phenomenal what you yourself have accomplished as a mother -- and for mothers!

I hope you pinch yourself sometimes!

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