Sunday, 4 August 2013

Time Out

I had been looking forward to this past weekend for about nine months, when I found out that Time Out For Women was coming back to Sydney.  I loved it so much when Mum and I went two years ago.  I just wish I could rewind back to August 2011 and have everything the same as it was then.  It's so hard to believe that my life is so different now.  I definitely needed a weekend away to have some fun and be uplifted.  

I was anxious about leaving my boys for the weekend as we haven't been apart since Aaron passed away.  My sister in law Steph took their kids up to Sydney to spend some time with her family before TOFW, so my brother Eden was home on his own for a week or so.  I had asked a while ago if he would be able to look after the boys, but expected he would be home looking after his own kids as well. 

I felt bad that he was going to be having a quiet weekend and was then going to be lumped with my boys, but he said he was looking forward to having them and they were really excited that they were going to have a boys weekend with Uncle Eden.   They were all a bit sad and teary when I left them which made me sad, but I knew they would be okay and would end up having a lot of fun. 

We were excited to see lots of friends when we got to the airport, who were also going to TOFW.
It was nice to have my sister in law Becky come this time. 

 Carol had made up some cute little packs for her travelling buddies.

It was so nice to have my sister Nicki come this time as well.   We met her and my brother Chrish at the Sydney airport and headed out to Sydney Olympic Park first which is where the TOFW event was being held.  Since writing regularly for TOFW for a little while, I had gotten to know the lovely ladies who work for TOFW in Salt Lake City, Utah.   We knew it would be a busy day on Saturday when the event was on, so we organised to have a quick catch up the day before while they were setting up.  It was so nice to see them.
We christened the photo booth that was going to be used by the thousands of women streaming through the door the next day. 
We then headed into the city and jumped on the train to  Circular Quay and then on the ferry to Manly where we grabbed tea.
 We were just a little bit excited about being let loose in Sydney with no kids! 

The sun was setting while we were on the ferry and it was so beautiful.
When we got back to the city it was dark, and we were so excited because we were going to see Pink that night (more about that later).

We hardly got any sleep as we were buzzing after seeing Pink, but we had to be at Sydney Olympic Park at 7am for a 'team meeting'.  Nicki, Mum and I had volunteered to be 'team members' for TOFW which meant we helped to promote the event and helped out on the day.  I put my hand up to be the official photographer so I think I had the best job of the day!
It was exciting to see everyone coming through the doors. I was really looking forward to catching up with old friends that I hadn't seen for a long time.
 The theme of the event was 'Higher' meaning to 'think higher, believe higher and live higher'. 
The same presenters that came to Sydney two years ago came back this time.   I was really looking forward to hearing and seeing my favourite presenter Laurel Christiansen who I hadn't even heard of two years ago, but I now consider her my friend. She was so kind to me after Aaron passed away and I was so excited to know that she had gotten married since the last event.
Brad Wilcox is an amazing speaker and I absolutely loved it when he got a beautiful girl up on stage with him.  She has Down Syndrome and was such a beautiful person. She was so happy to be there.
When Hilary Weeks introduced one of her songs and told everyone that they were welcome to get up and dance, that's exactly what this girl and a few others did.   The crowd was cheering her and she was so happy up on stage.  It was one of the highlights of the day for me.  
It was so good to be around 2350 women who believe the same as I do, and who were just as excited to be there as I was.  It was so strange but cool to have so many women come up to me to tell me that they read my blog or follow me on instagram, and wanted to let me know that they always keep me in their thoughts and prayers.  I actually felt a little bit famous with people wanting to get photos together! It means so much to know that so many people care so much.   Thank you if you came up and said hello! It was lovely to meet you all.

It was so good to be able to catch up with old friends I grew up with, and who I haven't seen for many years.
It was also lovely to see my cousins and Aunty from Queensland.
The service project this year was to bring along food items to donate to a local food bank.  Mum helped out on the service project at lunch time, packing up the food items in bags.
It was amazing to hear how many meals were provided to those in need in the local community - over 375 bags, which equaled over 1400 meals.

I was mesmerized by the sign language interpreters and couldn't stop watching them all day.  One in particular was so expressive when she was signing and even rocked her body in time with the music to let the ladies with a hearing impairment know what the beat of the song was like.  I talked to her afterwards to tell her how incredible it was to watch her and she told me that she served a mission for our church and her mission was to teach people who has a hearing inpairment, which is how she learnt it and she now works as a professional interpreter. 

It was also incredible to watch another interpreter sign on a ladies hands the whole time as she was blind as well as having a hearing impairment.
Another highlight was seeing all the missionaries serving in Sydney get up on stage and sing with Sheri Dew.
 It was an amazing day and I was so happy that I could be there with so many amazing women.  I hope that TOFW can come back to Australia again very soon.  I will miss these lovely ladies, but it was also nice to get home to my boys and to hear about their fun weekend with my brother Eden. It was nice to know that although they all missed me that they were happy while I was away. 


  1. I had a blast, and now I have fallen into a bit of a flunk.
    So nice to spend time with you, Nicki, Chrish and Becky, and enjoy all the laughs, especially with the driving in all that traffic, what a hoot.
    I loved watching that sister doing the sign language, it was like watching a dancer, she was so expressive.
    I will always remember this weekend, it filled up my spiritual tank somewhat.
    Loved PINK so much, and the best thing was spending time with some of the people I love most in this world.
    Love you.

  2. Looks like it was an amazing time! I hope that they come back soon, i would loooooove to go to the next one! :)

  3. I was one of the people sitting in front of you. We were so excited to meet you - and were so unsure of saying anything and interrupting your privacy. Thank you for being so generous with us. If you ever need a place to stay in Canberra - just contact us and we will put you up (we have heaps of room)

  4. SO, so cool! Thanks for sharing about TOFW!

  5. oh i'm so jealous! wish i could have gone - definitley not missing out next time! are they doing it again?
    happy you had an awesome and refreshing weekend away x

  6. Thanks for the pay back was the best time ever getting together with so many hormones...he he ...and yes we should campaign to bring it back every year..perhaps try a different state each year ..spread the love ... such an awesome fully packed experience XXX

  7. Oh I wish I could have seen that beautiful girl up on stage - that would have been the highlight of my day too!! It sounds like an amazing theme and amazing day. I can't wait to hear more about it. xoxox

  8. It was a wonderful day, thanks for sharing your memories & the fantastic photos (I don't actually know you in real life but am in the same ward as someone who does)

  9. Hi Lisa,
    it was lovely to put a name to the face on Saturday, especially after you helped me find a ticket for one of my friends. I haven't read your blog before, I had no idea of your family situation, but you are a great example of faith and strength to me. Thankyou for taking such wonderful pictures. You captured the day really well.

    Amie x

  10. This looks and sounds very happy, uplifting and inspiring. So glad you have had the chance to do these sorts of things with other women. Great photos, thanks for sharing with us :)

    From Susan McGuire, Sydney.


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