I like to keep records.

I’ve always been a journal keeper.

I have about 25 of them chock-full of all the details of my life up ’til a few years ago. And from there I have a blog.

I love to go back and remember the richness that has faded far into the corners of my mind.

When my kids all grow up and move away I want to remember how our family runs right now, what we do from day-to-day, what we like and what we don’t. What makes us tick. Sure, I write about thoughts and events here, but the day-to-day stuff, not so much.

So last year I started a new tradition of writing up a little “snapshot” of life in our family as the new year hit. A synopsis of life as we know it. (Last year’s is here.)

Here’s what I’ve come up with this year:

Grace is always making up dances. She and her inseparable-from-her-hip-friend-from-down-the-street are actually getting quite good at their perfectly choreographed dance creations.

Lucy can’t get enough of jumping on the trampoline.

Elle is a bookworm and I love it.

We are into family dinner over here. I love that it makes us all stop running around and sit together and talk. Because of all the different things the kids are involved in we can’t seem to figure out a regular time for it, but we do it every night.

We love sunsets. We text or call each other to go look at them when they are exceptionally breathtaking. This is one Dave pointed out that Elle ran out to take pictures of:Max is the “Math Homework Helper” in our family. I swear I did take AP Calculus in High School but I cannot for the life of me get 4th and 7th grade math (Grace & Elle). I love that Max just “gets” it.

Claire has seamlessly turned into a great little reader. I soak in each time we read together and how quickly she picks it up because this time around I know to be very thankful. It makes me wonder what it will be like to try to teach our next emergent reader to do the same.

We always make our own syrup. The only store-bought syrup Dave and I have bought since we were married was a couple months ago when we decided to try sugar-free syrup for Lucy.

Max and Dave are incredibly comical when watching sports together. With the enthusiasm they exhibit when they stand up and talk to the television you’d think those players really would pull up their bootstraps and do what they’re telling them to.

Max and Elle have to have the radio on when we are in the car…and they are rarely without their iPods.

Over the last year we have successfully weeded out a couple of extracurricular things.

Max just finished volleyball and is on to basketball.

Elle does tennis (sometimes three times a week), violin (at school), and piano. She can whack a tennis ball much harder than you’d think with those scrawny arms. She’s dying to do volleyball and soccer too.

Grace quit soccer and is doing gymnastics twice a week.

Claire and Lu do gymnastics once a week. Lucy thinks it’s the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Lucy has two awesome therapists…one for speech and one for occupational therapy. They come to our house and they have helped to change Lucy’s life.

As good as those therapists are, Claire is Lucy’s best therapist. She is always explaining things and reading to Lucy, usually with an arm around her shoulder.

Max has narrowed down the sports he likes to play to basketball and volleyball… and football at the park with friends.

Grace always does the breakfast dishes. (Well, I should say she’s always in charge of doing the breakfast dishes, and does them most of the time.)
Claire always sets the table.

Dave is traveling less and we are thankful for that.

Dave has cracked/broken ribs twice this year. He still seems to run and bike and do p90X like a pro…he’s tough.

We have no diapers in our house. At the same time as I am completely elated about that fact, a little section of my heart aches because that means no more babies around. Still, I thank my lucky stars every time Lucy runs to the bathroom.

We eat quite healthy around here…we are extremely conscientious about it because of Lucy’s syndrome. But we still have a long way to go.

We spell out the names of any type of dessert in our family because we’d rather not have Lucy know that we’re talking about sweet stuff.

Lucy knows how to spell “cookie.”

Max’s feet are bigger than mine and I can borrow his sweatshirts. He’s going to pass me up in height before I know it…and that’s saying something because I am tall.

Lucy always empties the silverware from the dishwasher and gets mad if someone else starts doing “her job.”

Our family movie night tradition has taken a backseat as our kids are big enough that they are often out with friends on Friday nights. It makes me sad that part of our life is fading.

Lucy always insists on using “teeny” spoons when she eats cereal. She also HAS to have blue dishes.
But Friday night is still most definitely pizza night.

Elle and Max are the best babysitters I could ever ask for. Each time Dave and I leave on a date and leave one of them in charge I still think about how thankful I am for that gift: to have children that can take care of our other children. And they can do it so well.

Life is good.

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  1. What a great post, Shawni! Thank you, love reading your blog. It inspired me to be better about record keeping (on my blog) and to be a better mother and person, overall. Esti minunata!!

  2. This is such a great idea! Those day-to-day moments are going to be so precious some day.

    The part about the math homework cracked me up. Math was not my thing. One of the reasons I married an engineer is so I could be off the hook with math homework. But my engineer is not always home when we need help with homework. It's a good thing that drama was my thing, because at least I can act like I know what I'm doing when I help. Fractions and algebra make me break out in hives. And I would just like to know, why doesn't anyone around here need help with their English?

  3. Reading your updates always gets me excited (and nervous) to have a house full of kids. We only have one right now, but we can't wait to expand our family and start these traditions!! So exciting!!! Your family is so beautiful and your blog is so inspiring to me. I really look forward to it when I log onto the computer!

  4. That's a great idea to do one entry to capture where you are right now. I try to write in my journal, but it gets overwhelming with everything else I do. Thanks for the sharing!

  5. Hi Shawni, My name is Ali and i have followed your blog ever since i saw you and your Mom at Time Out for Women in Utah last spring i think. You are such an inspiration. I also know the Carvers and used to hang out at their house years ago.Anyway My husband and i just built our first home last summer and i had the walls painted all white so i could paint from a blank canvas. What was i thinking??!! We are expecting our first baby in 8 weeks and i have a lot of painting i would like to do before then. I have yet to find a color i love and i always notice your walls and how great they look. Can i steal your color? I would love to know the color and brand if you would be willng to share! I think its the same through out your home from the pictures i have looked at. Just the neutral creamish color.Thanks!

  6. You will be SO glad in the future that you have this record of what life was like in your home. When I was going through those daily things, I thought I would always remember them. Sadly, I don't remember those little day to day things. Great post, as always Shawni!

  7. Your blog is wonderful! So uplifting and the pictures are incredible. The I'm a mormon video was great! Thank you! Totally put into words what a lot of us moms are feeling/thinking.

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