KARA: "Tell us about your family. What is one thing that each one of them has taught you that makes you a better person?"
SHANNON: "My husband and I are celebrating our 22nd anniversary in August. We have 4 children: Samantha 18, Seth 17, Sadie 13, and Shad 10. My husband and I met on a blind date. He is a salesman and probably the best one in the world. His first big sale was convincing my dad to let him marry me. My dad all but forbid the marriage. Rob had no money, no car, and had barely started college. He is a the type of man who has overcome incredible odds throughout his life. This holds true for our marriage as well. It has been a struggle for us, but we have committed and covenanted and worked extremely hard to be successful at marriage. I don't want to say we are experts, but we have been to various marriage counselors and therapy programs during the last 22 years and we have learned a lot of valuable tools to help us improve our relationship. And throughout that time many couples have come to us for help and advice. I am a huge advocate for marriage counseling. I believe good counselors help good marriages become great. Everyone needs instruction on first how to be their best self, which in turn will help them be the best companion they can. The first counselor we worked with happened to be one who worked with some of the apostles and their wives. The first time we sat down with him he shared this...
He reviewed Heavenly Father's plan for his children. That was for us all to come down to this earth and be tried and tested in order to prove ourselves worthy to return and live with him someday. The trials had to have the power to purify us, to purge us of our imperfections. He explained, just like a piece of coal must go through thousands of years of extreme heat and pressure before it becomes a diamond, so the lord had to create a situation that would cause us the greatest heat and pressure to help us become "diamond-like" so we could return to Him someday. The plan to accomplish this was to bring a man and a woman together! What better way to create immense heat and pressure! The lord definitely knows what he is doing.
My husband grew up with 13 siblings raised by a single mom and they had nothing but each other. He teaches me to persevere no matter how bad things seem. To be strong and courageous, to not care about what other people think about me and to not make judgments on other people.
My daughter Sam is amazing. She has always been the type to have everything done without even being asked. She is driven and disciplined at whatever she undertakes. She teaches me to do the same. Whenever I start to slack off she will tell me about something she accomplished or she is working on and I am motivated to get back on track.
I love to be around Seth. He has a great sense of humor. He makes me laugh. I love his impersonations. He teaches me how to deal with my emotions in a healthy way. When we are in a heated discussion, he will remind me not to raise my voice or he will suggest that we take a break and come back together and talk later. It is a wonderful thing as a parent when they re-teach you the things you have taught them.
Sadie is so easy-going and chill. She rarely gets angry at anyone. She teaches me to stop the craziness, take a break, relax and watch tv or do a craft. She pulls me out of the race of this crazy life and reminds me what its all about.
Shad is my comforter. He is always looking out for me. If I am down or having a hard day he will come put his arm around me and ask me if I'm ok, or if I need anything. He will remind me I probably need to pray or just let my bad feelings go.
My mom also teaches me to slow down. I am constantly going and doing. Most of it seems necessary and productive. But my mom reminds me to stop and take pleasure in the little things. She taught me this each time she came to stay with my after I had my babies. I would be rushing around being the busy mom and she would notice all of these amazing miracles happening with the baby as they were growing and changing each day. She is the one who pointed out the tiny hands and fingers or whatever changes had occurred. I was too involved in cleaning or changing or feeding to take time to notice. And I guess I'm a slow learner because 18 years later she is still teaching me the same thing only now they aren't babies, but still there are many details about each child to notice.
My favorite thing in the world to do is to just be with everyone in the same room laughing and playing games. And then, if I'm really lucky, I love to go on bike rides with our whole family and have a picnic!"
KARA: "What are your beauty secrets? What makes you happy and healthy?"
SHANNON: "As for my beauty secrets I have one, and this was also something I learned in battling depression. Do Self Care. As women, wives and mothers we tend to be constantly sacrificing and giving up for everyone else. We are usually last on the list and sometimes not acknowledged at all. We almost think ourselves selfish if we do anything for ourselves. But, you've probably heard the saying when you fly on an airplane. "Put your mask on first before helping someone else". If we don't take care of ourselves, we likely won't have strength to take care of everyone else. I believe in taking off, whether it is a walk around the block or a trip to Maui. Whatever the budget allows. Maybe its a manicure, makeover, massage or a moment to read a book in a chair. Take time to do what you want. This makes me a better wife, mom, and a better me."
Thanks to Shannon for this wonderful interview. I've known Shannon for a long time, but I still learned so much from this interview. She is even more amazing than I thought! I hope you've learned at least one or two things that you can apply to your own incredible life! Thanks, Shannon! Shannon's full interview will be up on the blog through Sunday afternoon.
I once again, need to ask for your help in finding Incredible Women to interview. I know some of you have suggested women, and if I haven't interviewed them, it's probably because I can't get ahold of them. I try to interview all of the women you nominate. If there is someone you'd like us to know - please email at kara.incrediblewomen(at)gmail(dot)com. Give me their email address so that I can get ahold of them, and also some information on them - what you loved about them. I look forward to getting your nominations. Have a great weekend!