Home give-away end of school give-away

end of school give-away

by Shawni

I have such mixed emotions about the fact that it is the last day of school today.

Part of me rejoices.  I reach out greedily for our days to be our own again.

But part of me is in deep mourning.  Because the end of school means the end of another year.  It means my children are a year older.  Their baby-ness is fading quickly.

Maybe that’s why I’ve had a severe regression back to being on the verge of tears with IWAN lately.  Maybe that’s why I broke down to the ladies in the front office last week in anticipation of my baby going to Kindergarten next year. 

I’m ready for summer.

But I’m not ready for another year to slip silently away from me. 

As I drive down the street and see the school kids lugging home backpacks full of every ounce of paper from their desks, huge smiles stretched across their faces, I’m so excited for them.  But part of me is sad for their mothers.  And part of me is sad for me. 

Luckily I got through preschool graduation without a tear yesterday (except for the tears while I wrote out the thank you notes to Lucy’s teachers before the big shin dig).  And luckily I get to do a little give-away to take me away from my wallowing.

And it’s perfect for the last day of school because I’m giving away a breathtakingly beautiful book about light and learning.  And what a better thing to celebrate on the last day of school than those two things. 

This book needs just a little bit of explanation.  When my sister was on her mission in Bulgaria years ago she met Eva, a young girl so full of light and excitement for life.  Later Eva came to live with our family in the states to go to college here.  She has since become a self-made fabulous photographer with an amazing eye for light. 

Check out some of her photographs here.  She has presented on photography all over the world and exudes love for what she does.  She also has photography collection exhibits all over the world.  Much more about her here.

This is what she says about her book Lost in Learning: “My intent in this project has been to create a portrait of an age where exploration was life’s supreme adventure.  Times when men first took a lens and pointed it across the sea in search of new worlds. 

“Or turned it Heavenward exploring worlds beyond the stars…turning my own lens on the relics of centuries past I have sought to recapture that spirit of the explorers…creators…scientists who have left us with so lasting a legacy…the photographs invite the viewer to look deeper into the lives and works of these great figures. 

Much more about the book here and here.

So, enter a comment for a chance to win this beautiful thing.

I’ll announce the winner on Saturday morning.

Happy last-day-of-school to all those who are in celebration/mourning mode here in the desert 🙂

p.s. Eva’s blog is here.

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Kate May 24, 2012 - 2:49 pm

What a gorgeous book! Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Summer!!!

Kelsi May 24, 2012 - 2:50 pm

Love your blog. What a cool book!

MemeGRL May 24, 2012 - 2:51 pm

The book looks amazing and I know my niece, an artist and photographer, would love it and be inspired by it too!

Heidi Broberg May 24, 2012 - 2:55 pm

Happy and Sad for (today) our last day of school too! Would love the book.

Neener May 24, 2012 - 2:56 pm

I am suffering from IWAN too lately. We are maxed out at 5 as well. I will bask in my memories.

Love the give away book.
I love photography.

Your Canadian cyber friend

LindsayAnn May 24, 2012 - 3:00 pm

The book looks absolutely stunning! I know my husband would absolutely LOVE it, he's been interested in photography for as long as I have known him, but until now we had not been able to afford a camera. Would love to give him some inspiration!

K - aka The Baker May 24, 2012 - 3:05 pm

I am speechless…reading that excerpt filled my heart. I need to read that book!

Also thank you for so eloquently saying what I am always feeling. I'm right in line with your same thoughts and feelings lately.

lex May 24, 2012 - 3:06 pm

gorgeous book!! love!

catherine May 24, 2012 - 3:12 pm

This book looks gorgeous, I would love a copy!

Kailee May 24, 2012 - 3:16 pm

Awesome book and gorgeous photos! 🙂

n8'swife May 24, 2012 - 3:18 pm

We have another 2 weeks to go, but go into with with mixed emotions myself. The books looks a great coffee table book!

delilas May 24, 2012 - 3:19 pm

What a fab idea for a book. The end of school and the start of a new school year are always so bitter/sweet. Have a fun summer! I wished we lived in the desert and could be done with school by now.

Anonymous May 24, 2012 - 3:23 pm

Shawni, my goodness, another year did not just "silently slip away"!! Look at all the fun adventures you and your family have had this past year! You definitely got the most from you life this year! Your kids are growing up to be beautiful young men and women.

ellen May 24, 2012 - 3:30 pm

I'd love to win!

sarahandmatt May 24, 2012 - 3:32 pm

I would LOVE a chance to win this book! Thanks!

Linda May 24, 2012 - 3:40 pm

Thank you for the giveaway!!

Lynn Herron May 24, 2012 - 3:45 pm

The book looks wonderful !! I would love sharing it with my family. The last day of school is full of mixed emotions but, looking forward to the summer months. I hope you and your family have great adventures together this summer !

Natalie May 24, 2012 - 3:58 pm

This book looks amazing. I'm excited to learn more about it. Thanks!

NaDell Ransom May 24, 2012 - 3:58 pm

Very beautiful book! I'd love to win!

Kim May 24, 2012 - 3:59 pm

Beautiful book. Our family would love it! My oldest is graduating tonight, so my tears are flowing too!

Linda Oxborrow May 24, 2012 - 4:05 pm

I have such similar thoughts and feelings of my children growing older… how do you comfort that. When you have the IWAN how do you know it is not HF wanting that for you too? I know- it is a personal thing, just wonder that always about myself. Thank you for your blog- I love it.

Sheila May 24, 2012 - 4:14 pm

Cool book! Happy last day of school!

Jaymie and Donna Jones May 24, 2012 - 4:18 pm

That looks like a really good book! I have the same feelings about it being the end of school!

The Great Lakes of NY May 24, 2012 - 4:20 pm

My oldest daughter and I love to read your blog. Your family has become an example to ours. The first parenting book I ever read was "Teaching Your Children Values". It is my most favorite and I have been a fan of your family ever since! Thank you for sharing your beautiful example and ideas with the rest of us. It is having a powerful impact.

Mindy May 24, 2012 - 4:41 pm

LOVE!!!! Beautiful Lucy will have so much fun next year 🙂

Macy May 24, 2012 - 4:45 pm

I LOVE Eva's work. Would love to win this one. 🙂

Steph May 24, 2012 - 4:58 pm

Gorgeous book. Our part of the desert is a few weeks behind, so I'll be mourning in June.

Emma Jo May 24, 2012 - 4:59 pm

What an amazing book! I have such an appreciation for noticing the small details and the beauty around us. It warms my heart like no other when my kids point out something breathtaking that they have noticed on their own.
How lucky you are to know such a talented young woman!

Anne May 24, 2012 - 5:02 pm

Eva's talent and passion is beautiful and so easily reflected in her book. Thank you for the giveway!

Liz May 24, 2012 - 5:13 pm

Hooray for summer! The book looks awesome!

Lindsay Eyre May 24, 2012 - 5:17 pm

I love that idea, searching, reaching for the light. The pictures are beautiful.

Katrina May 24, 2012 - 5:27 pm

As a librarian I get excited about books. Looks great!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Shera May 24, 2012 - 5:40 pm

I know Eva from my mission in Bulgaria too, and I would love to win her beautiful book!

Trudy May 24, 2012 - 5:50 pm

Very beautiful! I too have mixed feelings about the end of the school year. That changes when we all get to sleep-in 🙂

Brett and Tiffany May 24, 2012 - 6:00 pm

Looks like a fun book! I love reading your blog, even though I never comment! I have mixed emotions about school ending too. My baby will also be going to kindergarten in the fall!

AmyMak May 24, 2012 - 6:01 pm

Gorgeous book – thanks for the give-away! My baby is also going to kindergarten this fall 🙁

trisha*n May 24, 2012 - 6:19 pm

I never know what to feel that last day of school. I'm in college now, and even when I see young kids getting out of school, I'm excited for them to have summer, but sad because they don't realize how fast time is flying!
Looks like an amazing book!

Lori May 24, 2012 - 6:19 pm

Thank you for the giveaway!

Claire May 24, 2012 - 6:24 pm

How exciting would it be to win! This is my first time entering a giveaway! Good luck to you all!

Living Life in the Lowcountry May 24, 2012 - 6:26 pm

Wow, amazing book!
We have one more exam to go tomorrow and then school is over! kind of glad but also a little sad… my oldest will be a senior and I think that school year will be bittersweet!

melissa May 24, 2012 - 6:30 pm

Beautiful book!

Lynn May 24, 2012 - 6:32 pm

Oh that book is stunning! How amazing and blessed is your family to have known her and she….you. SO cool.

Glad things are going so well for her.

Kathy May 24, 2012 - 6:32 pm

I think my daughter will LOVE this book! Thank you for the offering, add me to you drawing list.

Chrissy May 24, 2012 - 6:43 pm

That book looks amazing! What a fun giveaway! I love photography and am always trying to stretch. Super interested in this book. Thanks Shawni! =)

alesa May 24, 2012 - 6:49 pm

You have said everything I feel about the last day of school perfectly. This is a beautiful book.

Ana Carolina May 24, 2012 - 6:50 pm

amazing pictures! The book must be awesome! 🙂

Marc May 24, 2012 - 6:53 pm

Happy last day of school!

Kim May 24, 2012 - 6:55 pm

What a beautiful book! I would love a copy!

Carolyn May 24, 2012 - 6:57 pm

What an amazing story…thanks for sharing!

Natalie May 24, 2012 - 7:09 pm

Are you giving away friend tickets? Because I would love to be your friend for a day. You inspire and lift me with your love and light. Thanks for being you!

nf May 24, 2012 - 7:16 pm

I am the mother of two girls (one a newborn) and I read you blog whenever I get the chance. At first I thought, how does she do it with 5 children, there is no way I can have more than two… but I get it, I see how they grow up too fast. Thank you for showing me to cuddle a little more, sneak more kisses and embrace the moment, because all too soon, it will be gone!


PS As a teacher, it is amazing to see the growth in kids from the first to last day of school! Enjoy the summer!


Robyn May 24, 2012 - 7:27 pm

what a beautiful book!

Ingrid May 24, 2012 - 7:33 pm

Looks like a beautiful book, given away by a beautiful blogger. 🙂

Kristin May 24, 2012 - 7:50 pm

Wow, beautiful book with a fantastic attitude of exploring and learning and sharing! Thanks for the chance to win. I come to your blog for the real-ness and stay for the life lessons. Thanks for sharing!

Haught May 24, 2012 - 8:03 pm

Well, let's be honest…..my tears this week are not tears of excitement for school to end. They are tears of stress about how on earth I am going to take care of four special needs kids all summer! School is my life saver. So I could sure use a good book to occupy my time 🙂

Donya May 24, 2012 - 8:14 pm

End of the school year is indeed bitter-sweet, but yay for new beginnings and adventures! The book looks gorgeous, I am awed by talented artists who have a natural gift for capturing beautiful light.

Kat May 24, 2012 - 8:27 pm

Wow that looks like a cool book. LOVE people that are passionate.

Natalie B. May 24, 2012 - 8:47 pm

Feeling the same way as the school year comes to a close. I swear it went by faster than normal this year. I also always feel sad to say "goodbye" to teachers that give so much to my kids. Anyway, would love the book!

Hendrickson Family May 24, 2012 - 8:54 pm

beautiful family. beautiful book.

slayer May 24, 2012 - 9:17 pm

I love those few images you shared from the book! I want some large prints just for my home! Thank you for the giveaway!

t.m. May 24, 2012 - 9:33 pm

It looks like a book right up my alley of interest!

Sweating in the endless heat May 24, 2012 - 9:52 pm

Beautiful! I hope I win it, my girls, who are into art/photography would enjoy learning and looking:-)

Melissa May 24, 2012 - 9:54 pm

It looks like a lovely book!

Susan R May 24, 2012 - 10:11 pm

I too can't decide if I'm happy or sad about the end of another school year. One (my first) going off to BYU and one in his last year of middle school, one will be a junior, one in 6th and 1 in 4th…..I don't remember growing older, when did they?
Love, Love, Love the book, especially the illustrations. The artwork is amazing.

Brooke May 24, 2012 - 10:28 pm

I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

Kaylene May 24, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Been trying to get excited about learning again, this book seems like just the thing to ignite th flame!

Jennifer May 24, 2012 - 10:45 pm

The book looks incredible! I would love a little inspiration in my life.

Freja May 25, 2012 - 12:09 am

I love books about learning!! And this look fantastic!!

{Lindsey} May 25, 2012 - 12:18 am

We love, love, love books at our house! This would be a fabulous one to add to our collection.
Happy Summer Reading!!

Crystalyn May 25, 2012 - 12:52 am

Photography and your website inspires me.

Kara May 25, 2012 - 1:09 am

Beautiful pictures!!
P.s. I love your blog!

Gretchen May 25, 2012 - 1:51 am

That book looks incredible!

My kids still have 4 weeks of school – how do your kids get out so early? I'm just a bit jealous! Happy summer to you and your family. Love your blog – very interesting to read. Great photography and great words.

Becky May 25, 2012 - 3:02 am

What a great book! Love learning

Alycia & Steven Powell May 25, 2012 - 3:07 am

What a unique style! Love your blog

Gina May 25, 2012 - 3:13 am

The book looks awesome. I am always inspired by the things you share: books, thoughts, advice, etc. (Speaking of IWAN, my 10-year-old daughter told me yesterday that her favorite smell is Pampers! Random… and made me so proud!)

Team Asay May 25, 2012 - 3:21 am

Looks like an inspiring book. I'd love to add it to my library;)

Ty, Steph, Bris, Big T May 25, 2012 - 3:38 am

That book looks amazing! Thanks for even sharing a little bit about Eva. I will have fun learning more about her!

Lisa May 25, 2012 - 3:52 am

I too love photography. Sounds interesting!

becky May 25, 2012 - 4:00 am

Thank you for sharing her info again. I was telling my sister about her work and couldn't find it in your archives. I LOVE her work. Would love the book

Trista May 25, 2012 - 4:24 am

This would be PERFECT for my homeschool curriculum.

Marit May 25, 2012 - 4:33 am

It looks like a beauty-filled book. And I mourn a little, too, at the end of the school year. But, I'm glad to have my babies all to myself for a bit.

The Learner May 25, 2012 - 4:49 am

Would love to share this wonderful book with my family!

Monica May 25, 2012 - 4:49 am

That intriguing book would make a perfect gift for my hubs!

Belinda May 25, 2012 - 5:09 am

what a pretty book. I'd love it!

Jana May 25, 2012 - 11:44 am

What a beautiful book!

Heidi May 25, 2012 - 2:12 pm

Looks like a beautiful book!

Jonalyn May 25, 2012 - 2:14 pm

What a lovely book! Thanks for hosting and happy summer to you!

Cory Peairs May 25, 2012 - 2:16 pm

Looks like a beautiful book!

Laura May 25, 2012 - 2:34 pm

It's a bittersweet time of year for me too.

Thank you for the chance to win this beautiful book.

Karin May 25, 2012 - 2:38 pm

What a fantastic book. Thanks for the giveaway.

kevin & khand May 25, 2012 - 2:46 pm

What an awesome looking book with such a unique perspective and composition. I'm studying humanities and photography right now and so it especially intrigues me.

Gina May 25, 2012 - 3:05 pm

What a beautiful book! Thanks for the fun opportunity!

Becky L. May 25, 2012 - 3:14 pm

I tried "grounding" all my kids so they wouldn't grow up. So far, it hasn't helped. My third child graduates high school in a couple weeks. It's such a bitter sweet time. This beautiful book is one I know my graduating son would love. Thank you for the giveaway and your wonderful blog. 🙂

Sarah May 25, 2012 - 4:00 pm

I'd love to win this book!

jeanine May 25, 2012 - 4:14 pm

I'd love to win this!

Tanya May 25, 2012 - 4:20 pm

Thank you for putting words to whatever is making me so emotional lately! I am so looking forward to summer and having my kids home…and they are sad to say goodbye to their teachers…and every mother I talk to, every blog I read about the end of school is making me cry! While I love watching them learn and grow I hate that they are so grown up. You nailed it.
This book looks amazing for all ages!

Eric May 25, 2012 - 4:26 pm

What a neat book. It's a great way to look at old and new again!
I follow your blog for a lot of your photography tips and also for the entertainment value of the family musings.
Paulette says hello and is glad Lucy is doing so well!

slcmomof5 May 25, 2012 - 4:57 pm

Eva's eye has inspired me to look through the lens of life a little differently.

So glad my life has intersected with yours, if only via the internet. My life has been enriched by the beautiful expressions of life that you share. They are the way my heart feels! thank you!

Unknown May 25, 2012 - 5:09 pm

Thank you for this! Just checked out your sister's photos and she's quite the talent.

Jolene May 25, 2012 - 5:20 pm

Wow, her photos are amazing!!

Becky and Steve May 25, 2012 - 5:52 pm

Time flies when you least expect it. I have two nieces. One is just graduating from Kindergarten and the other is going to be turning 1 in August. I love looking at photography from anybodys perceptive. My sister-in-law is a photographer and she does amazing things to her pictures.


MMW May 25, 2012 - 6:13 pm

Wow what a gorgeous book. Perfect for summer reading.

Andrea May 25, 2012 - 7:27 pm

Love reading your blog.

Andrea May 25, 2012 - 7:28 pm

Love following your blog. Keep up the good work and have a good summer!!!

Andrea May 25, 2012 - 7:57 pm

That book looks beyond intriguing. That would be an amazing gift!

btsoi. May 26, 2012 - 12:48 am

Looks amazing! I would love to have a book like this in my home.

Donna Leavitt May 26, 2012 - 4:15 am

That sure does look like a great book. Thought provoking. We have one more week of school. Honestly, I have mixed emotions.

Emily May 26, 2012 - 2:41 pm

What beautiful photography!

Amy May 26, 2012 - 3:41 pm

Eva seems to have a great outlook on life… I hope to read this book!


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