I want to start taking a little verbal “snapshot” of life at the beginning of each new year. I sort of did it last year here without actually conscientiously meaning to, but now I want to make it a tradition.

I write a bunch of feelings and events on this blog, but I don’t write a whole lot of the day to day stuff.

And when I look back, I want to remember what life was like day-to-day when I was young and carefree (ha ha) with all my kids still relatively small and hugging to my legs. I think it’ll give me comfort when they’re mouthing off to me some day.

So here’s my 2010 snapshot of life as it is right now in our family:

We wear pjs into the ground around here.

Claire always folds up her clothes and puts them in her drawers…even if they are filthy dirty.

Max puts everything that he wears directly into the hamper, whether it’s dirty or not.

Elle can make really good salads.

I’m a hot commodity when it comes to reading time at night. Everyone wants me to read with them, and although it totally overwhelms me, I love it at the same time…especially when the kids will do my hair.

Dave teaches really good gospel doctrine lessons.

I kiss all my kids on the lips. Maybe that’s getting weird for the older ones, but I’ll take it while I can. And I kiss Dave on the lips in front of them. They gross out but I think they kinda like it.

Dave kisses the girls European style (kisses on both cheeks). He and Max have a handshake thingamajig that they do in place of kisses.

My laundry room is a catch-all for everything and no matter how I try it always has a stack of papers and bills piled high on my desk.

We have Family Home Evening lessons on Sundays, and FHE activities on Mondays.

Max is growing out of his bed.

We are good at having family dinner. Someone spills their drink pretty much every night (usually Lu…luckily we only ever have water for dinner).

We are bad at getting to church on time…the fact that it has switched to 8:00 a.m. does not help.

Lucy, after taking a very peaceful hiatus from her bedtime drama, has started it up again full force refusing to go to sleep until she’s had a good scream/cry.

Our kids are pretty good at making their beds every morning.

Our kids are not good at putting their dirty socks in the laundry basket and they can be found everywhere…mainly in the garage or on the table in the back yard.

Our family goes through about five gallons of milk per week.

I don’t drink milk.

Lucy has to carry around her “purse” full of little figurines at all times along with her Dora doll who is now adorned with a green mustache drawn in as well as a few random scribbles compliments to Lu’s own artwork with a permanent marker.I find her “guys” in very random places:
We still try to have “Family Movie Night” as much as possible on Friday nights.

My winning food night is when I make hamburger stroganoff. Too bad it’s not better for you.

We don’t every say “cookie” out-loud in front of Lucy. It’s become so second-nature for us all to spell it out (even Claire) since we’re trying so hard to help her be more healthy. (We’re trying for all of us, but us big people have to be gradually weaned.)

All four of our girls go to the same school. The oldest three usually ride their bikes with a pack of friends.(this is a portion of the pack straggling as the last ones to leave.)

Elle is getting less scratchy on her violin.

Claire is becoming a whining pro. I know part of it is age, but another part is her constant UTIs we constantly struggle to figure out.

Lucy gets approx. 142 hugs every day, sometimes to her dismay.

Max and Grace incessantly crack their knuckles.

Max is a little bit girl-crazy. It’s kind of funny…but also kinda scary.

Dave still travels quite a bit. We miss him. He whips us into shape when he’s home. He’s a serious schedule guy, and I love it.

Elle gives up her room whenever we have visitors in town.

We read scriptures at 7:05 every weekday morning followed by family prayer before Max heads out to Jr. High.

I usually get up at 6:00 to do my P90X and although it kills me, it feels so good to be in a routine (especially after taking time off over Christmas break).

We usually have hot breakfasts. Max, Elle and Grace like to cook them.

I go down the line of girls sitting at the bar at breakfast and do their hair one by one while they eat. Gross? Maybe. But it works.

Elle and Claire are always doing handstands.

Lucy qualified for “long-term care” which will help get her therapies back in order. She LOVES her school.

Max does basketball twice a week and is playing on a competitive team this winter. He really likes it and has a great shot, but sometimes, just sometimes, he tends to show more interest in pulling up his socks or cracking his knuckles than he does on the ball. Max also takes piano. He doesn’t like it.

Elle does tennis, piano, violin (in orchestra at school), and is starting soccer next week. It’s too much in my opinion but she loves it all. She has a BUNCH of homework each night.

Grace does the exact same stuff Elle does but take out violin and add gymnastics. She’s also starting soccer.

Claire just does gymnastics and lots of playing with friends. Grace turns into her piano teacher occasionally and makes her practice a few songs on the piano.

Lucy LOVES to play with cards…any kind of card will do, from matching games to the ones she stole out of the “Sorry” game in our closet.We have the best neighborhood I can imagine, yet I still dream of us living (at least for a stint) in London or China….or Australia or France…or South America somewhere or even my old stomping grounds: Romania. You get the picture…I want to show these kids the world.

Our girls bring lunches to school almost every day.

I can count the times we’ve gone out to eat as a family on one hand (Wendy’s and McDonalds at truck stops on road trips don’t count).

So, there you go, future self. Life in 2010 in a nutshell.

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  1. For whatever reason, this post really inspires me. You are such a good mom, it shows. I love to hear all the cute things you do and I love to hear that you cook a lot and I'm jealous of all your girls. I'm doing p90X right now too, it's crazy hard, but totally worth it!

  2. Beautiful. All the details and honesty. You are going to cherish these types of posts so much! I hope you don't mind if I copy you.

    In two weeks we will have an island…I am so excited to have a spot to do the girls hair like that. I don't think it's gross. It's a perfect multitasking thing to do!

  3. The hair thing – perfect! Not gross at all. Shawni, this is the post I needed to read today. Tell me – when do your kids get up? Who makes their lunches? I should just assume that they make their own! I love the not eating out thing. I want that to be a goal of ours but it really is my husband's only vice. He spends no money on anything and likes eating out. He was raised as the baby of the family when that was the reality of their stage in life. I like eating out, don't get me wrong, I don't like what it does to my kids expectations.

  4. We did an overseas stint when our oldest was a baby. Loved living overseas. Loved taking our baby there. Didn't love the insurance issues that came with accessing healthcare overseas. (That was back when I could count a year's worth of doctor's visits on one hand.) My husband was offered an overseas position this year….London….covet! covet!….and we politely declined. Because of healthcare/insurance. Bummer.

  5. Cool snapshot, Shawni! I'm not LDS, but I'd be interested in hearing more about FHE sometime (or maybe you've already written something that you can point me to).

  6. LOVED that.
    I need to do something like that too, since I don't keep a "real" pen and ink journal. The ordinary days are the real treasures and are often neglected in the documentation and photographing of our lives.

  7. I am exhausted after reading that. You are one busy lady. It was great to read and get a little peak inside your home. You are fabulous! Keep up the good work.

  8. I'm always afraid I'm doing too much, or not enough. I'm glad to hear you guys are normal 🙂 We miss you and my girls love to see what yours are up to once in awhile. I've had letters to send from Annie and Celia on Newel's desk for ages! Now if I could only fit a remembered trip to the mailbox into the day's agenda.

  9. This blog was just like one of your pictures, except in words!! By that I mean… it was a clear, amazing picture of what is going on in your life at this time and the writing was so well done, it felt professional!!!
    I just love reading your blog and I hope you don't mind me peeking in on your life…
    I actually was so inspired by this idea that I am going to steal it and use it on my blog today.. (would that be considered blog-stealing, or word-napping…hummmm!)
    thanks again for your beautiful portrait on life (real life)
    Christa Johnson

  10. Have you ever checked Candida (yeast) issues for the UTI's? A regular Dr. probably wouldn't know what to do. Dr, Carrie Rittling in mesa is great. She is a pediatrian naturopath. I love her to death. Her number is 985-0000 if you are interested.

  11. Like others said, this inspires. You are an amazing mom and the choices you make for your family are so healthy and solid. Thanks for sharing!

  12. i came across your blog from cloverlane, and i love it. your family is super cute! i love this post and what a great idea! and am i crazy or have i seen i think it is your parents on Good Things Utah?

  13. What a fantastic list. I agree that all too often I only document the things we do and forget to capture the everyday moments. The moments that shape us and who we are and what are family life is really like. Very inspiring post – thanks for reminding me what memories I have been forgetting to document 🙂

  14. In answers to questions, much to my chagrin Dave and I are the lunch makers. We've GOT to get the girls busy doing that.

    Max gets up around 6:15, and Elle at 6:45 to get practicing done.

    Yes, my parents are sometimes on Good Things Utah.

    And I'll send some FHE ideas soon. I love FHE!

  15. What a great re-cap of what is going on. I love this! My girls get their hair done while eating breakfast too. I'm pretty sure my mom did the same thing for us too.

    And even though you really want to, please don't move. We (my girls especially) would miss you guys WAY too much!

  16. Bring them to London! Okay, so I may be a little biased, but when I was a little kid I always got so excited to go to the center of my city (:

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