Since it’s April I better get my booty in gear and get our “2024 Snapshot” published! I like to do this at the beginning of each year so I can freeze that “moment” in time. I want to remember how it felt right here and now when I’m looking back some day.

Let’s start with what in Heaven’s name is going on with the “big” kids. Because I haven’t updated that in a while.

Max, Abby & Murphy

These three are rocking it up in Utah.

Max and Abby are taking pretty beautifully to parenting and Murphy, the delight of all our hearts, turns ONE a month from today. How is that even possible that little Peanut is growing up so fast! Lots of “Peanut” posts actually:)

She “got” to wear a pink helmet for a while to even out her head.

We were all in love with that thing…except Abby wasn’t a big fan of the smell. Ha!

Abby is the BEST at sending pictures and keeping us in the loop with “Murphy content” since I can hardly stand that we live so far away.

(Love to my fellow grandma Abby’s mom Sarah up there on that pic above.)

Love these pics that show Murphy and Max about the same age:

We have been lucky enough to be working on a work project in Utah enough that we’ve been there to visit a few times. Every time we get closer my arms start to ache to get that baby in my arms.

She kills me with cuteness.

Ok, but back to Max and Abby. Max took a break from college for a bit to work full time. He also transferred to UVU before he took that break. And then he decided he was ready to push to finish. He applied and got back into BYU and is working his tail off to get his degree as he works part time on the side. So proud of him and all his hard work.

Abby, who finished her degree years ago and has been working for a few years, decided to take a break from working outside the home to work full-time with Murphy for now. She’s loving it so much and grateful every day.

Elle & Carson

Elle is loving life as a freelance graphic designer, and Carson is going to graduate from podiatry school this month!

It has been a huge journey for these two and we are so proud of them. They have done such a good job making Florida their home for the last four years. And they rocked their six months of externships all over the country and learned so much!

And NOW, they have been matched to do the next three years of residency. Wow that is such a process I tell you!

They invited us to a zoom meeting to share all their thoughts for residency before they turned in their big decision for top choices. They had graphs and charts all made up with pros and cons carefully outlined. It was quite endearing how earnestly they worked to figure that out.

They were matched with their first choice: PALO ALTO and we’re so excited for them and that new adventure that will start in July.

After Carson’s graduation they will head out to celebrate in Southeast Asia before settling into the grind of residency. Again, they are so grateful Elle can work from anywhere at this point!

I love that these two have such a talent to make new places “home,” and I’m so excited about their upcoming stint for three years in Palo Alto. Let them know if anyone has any grand ideas for housing! That place isn’t cheap!


Grace is working hard doing full-time school (studying Public Health) and working two jobs. Along with other things, she does these playgroups with her work at United Way:

And sometimes she gets some special visitors 🙂

She also still works part time at Bowls Superfoods.

At the same time as all this, she’s keeping up a pretty grand social life. She lives in a house with a bunch of great girls and is always on the go from one thing to the next. It’s hard to even get a call in with that girl, so I’m SO grateful we just got her home for Easter. More on that hopefully tomorrow.

Bottom line, this girl is working hard and learning so much.

I love that these kids, Max and Abby included, get so much family to gather with up there in Utah. Here’s Grace with the Utah side:

They also have dinners with my sister and also my sister-in-law every once in a while. And cousin “Survivor Night” is still going strong! (There are 30+ Pothier cousins up there and I love that they love each other enough to get together often.)


Oh man. I have so many pictures and things to say about how Claire is doing over in Australia. I’ll have to do a whole post about it soon, but I’ll say here she is learning so much. And she’s SIX MONTHS in, which means she’ll be home in less than a year.

Since she’s 18 hours ahead of us, when it’s her Monday pday it’s still Sunday here. And I love our Sunday chats. So does Lucy as you can see below. She adores that big sister of hers.

As do we all.

There is a big hole without Claire’s spunk and light around here.

She is such a tremendous example to me in so many ways. Missions are hard! And I love that she embraces that hard and is already feeling like one more year isn’t going to be enough!

She is in the heart of Chinatown, still. She’s been there her whole mission so far, but has had three different companions. She’s still struggling to get that language down (it is so hard) but she’s there for it and is learning from everyone she comes across.


Oh there’s so much going on with Lucy! She is making things happen every day. Right now we are in the midst of trying to figure out a path for college. And also working this summer. So many interesting hurdles we didn’t have with our other kids.

She is working with a new piano teacher she adores, and working so hard to learn to play the piano by ear.

She loves that piano with all her heart. She goes through withdrawal when she doesn’t get to play. It’s a pretty beautiful thing to love, and I’m so grateful she fills up our house with what she plays. From her heart.

She has always been a church note-taker but for some reason that’s starting to fade. Not sure if it’s just because she can’t see as well? On the right below is how she leaves for school every morning: her huge backpack crammed full, her magnifier “briefcase” over her shoulder and her cane in the crook of her arm.

She has a carpool with the cutest girls who pick her up and my heart swells with love and gratitude for them every day.

There’s nothing better than a Saturday morning making waffles or a game of chess for Lu…

…well, and an hour to sit playing the piano.

Oh and games.

Any kind of games. Every kind of games. At least ones she can see well enough to play.

And not many nights better than the two of us cooking in the kitchen. I love that on the left below.

On the right above is ACT prep work. I need to do a whole post on that, because yow. I cannot believe how hard that is. She gets triple time and a reader to read the questions to her because of her accommodations. Seems awesome right? But I’m here to tell you it is HARD. That girl is INCREDIBLE to be able to get through that test.

Lu went on her first date (left below…a HUGE deal), and also is one conscientious school girl. On the right below she’s walking in for early-morning tutoring at school. I love how diligent she is!

Love when we still get to ride around on our tandem bike with Bo running along beside us.

Three Musketeers

I must say we are doing pretty well as the “three musketeers” left at home. I love when we get in a rhythm and I love my two schedule-followers 🙂

We do our “third hour” Come Follow Me together after church. Trying to have Lu teach more since she’s so good at this type of thing.

Here’s Lu heading into he ACT tutoring below on the left, and Brainfood packing and deliveries on the right:

I pack and drive for Brainfood once a month and love working with that great organization.

Our ward got split up a while back. We are getting to know everyone in the new ward and it’s great. But boy, I’ll always miss our old ward. So I love any opportunity to get together with “my” ladies from there. Love this parenting class one of them put together as she’s working to get her degree:

I’m still working my little heart out taking cello lessons. Well, when I do work my heart out, I really see progress.

But sometimes I feel like I really have no business trying to squeeze that practicing in. I’m so bad at it! I’m determined enough to keep with it though and have my fourth recital coming up next month.

Lucy adores the sunset and sunrise and will get out there to immerse herself in nature any time she possibly can. Including rolling in the leaves.

Dave and I love that we have friends who like to get together for game nights now and again.

We take turns and different people’s houses and it’s a great way to get together.

These are mostly Dave’s pickle-ball buddies, and I love their wives.

Bo Jangles

My little shadow:

She’s never more than a few feet away from me. Most of the time I love it. Ha!

She LOVES when I take her out on walks when I’m talking through the world with friends.

I’m a true sourdough girl now. It takes forever to tend and care for the process of baking, but I love the challenge. Not a huge fan of those jars in my fridge though…

Church callings

With that ward boundary change, our church callings changed this year too.

Gone are all my meetings with these Relief Society presidency ladies (plus my second counselor who isn’t in this picture but who I love so much).

It’s been a bitter/sweet adjustment…I sure miss all “my” ladies in my old ward with all my heart.

Luckily I got a calling as the Relief Society activity chair in our new ward. So I try to help us get together in small and large groups as we try to get to know each other better. And look out for and love and lift each other.

I LOVE that church gives that opportunity to reach out in such a tangible way. Here we are on our second pickle-ball night.

Dave is doing such a great job serving as the first counselor in the bishopric.

I know I have a photo somewhere of that, but I can’t find it!!

He works with the young men and does so many things to lift and build the ward with the Bishop. It’s a busy job but he’s enjoying it.

Instead of church pic, I’ll post this one of skiing. Because Dave will do it any chance he can possibly get.

That and pickle-ball.

I need more pictures of that too!

Book Club

I’m loving my bookclub still…for over 20 years. Wow.

Cookie baking

Cookie baking is still in the heart of our family traditions. Still always on the hunt for new chocolate chip cookie recipes. New favorites all the time.

Along with learning cookie recipes, I like to learn other good stuff too:

Still trying to cook meals, which is trickier with only three of us at home (left below) and we LOVE our F45 training class (right below).


Podcast is still going! I love getting together with my sisters to contemplate all aspects of motherhood. I love that Jared (Saren’s husband) is in this pic since he was trying to help her figure out internet so we could record while they were in Italy!

Working from home

Dave and I both work from home and we feel so lucky about that every single day.

So grateful for the flexibility that comes with that.

And BeReal helps document all that!

We Believe Board

We are enjoying being on the board for the We Believe app too.

It’s such a great resource and the best people are running it! They are introducing a youth app coming up soon…exciting.

Grateful for opportunities when they ask me to do the “verse of the day” every few months.


I love when I can get out in “my” desert to hike, the cacti and rock stretching out all around. There is nothing like my desert.

PHEW!!! I could go on and on and on…life just keeps moving right along.

And I’m grateful for the “highs” and also for the “lows” that teach me so much. Although maybe I can only say that when I’m not in the trenches of the “lows!”

Sending out lots of love this Tuesday!!


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  1. I was really confused for a sec – in that baby photo of Max, it looks like he is being held by current-day Elle. Your genes are strong! 🙂

  2. How do Max and Abby live on only one part time income? And don’t say how frugal they are, it’s just impossible.
    And how do Elle and Carson afford a quick trip to Southeast Asia? You say that like it’s a quick trip down the block!

    1. Their “ children “ do not pay for their own education, that in itself is huge.
      I’m not sure how you can talk so much about the ‘ entitlement trap’ but yet pay for all the education, trips etc.

      As for Carson and Elle’s Asia trip, Elle does work full time, they have no kids, and it was maybe a graduation gift!

      1. Paying for education is nice – some parents do that, and I don’t have an issue with that.
        What I can’t seem to figure out is – one PART TIME income from Max – could not possibly pay rent, utilities, food, insurance, doctor and dentist bills, clothes, etc etc. Great that Abby “made the choice” to “WORK” as Morgan’s mommy… but without subsidy of some kind, this doesn’t make financial sense, and certainly doesn’t add up.

        1. Student loan? Savings from the year worked? Medicaid? At least for the Murphy? Maybe the college has a health insurance plan? They did when I went to school ages ago. Home equity loan. For some reason prices spiraled out of control maybe they got a mortgage when he took a year to work full time? She can always go back or he can always work part time and work full time or both. He already has many credits as it is. Temporary.

    2. I’m in law school right now and in full time programs, the ABA mandates that you cannot work more than 20 hours/week while enrolled in a full-time program. Plenty of my classmates have spouses who are doing full-time childcare. It’s hard, but people make it work with loans, savings, some people are getting help from other family, scholarships. That’s not that unusual to me. Childcare itself is beyond expensive here so for most people, having a parent in school full-time/working part-time and other parent doing full-time childcare is most affordable.

    3. It’s always interesting to see how different people work financials, so these are interesting questions. Remember that Max and Abby have both worked full time for quite a few years. It’s funny because I think I’ve mentioned before that Max couldn’t keep a dime in his pocket to save his soul as a kid! Like seriously, we were worried about that boy! But I’m here to give all you mothers in the same situation hope, because kids do figure some things out as they get older :). Max is now so incredibly conscientious of savings and investing. To the point that sometimes Abby rolls their eyes at their budgeting (in a nice way :). She always grew up as a good saver and frugal so they’ve become a great team financially. Love it. They have been pretty smart with saving and investing with those two full-time jobs they had that make this part time thing possible just for a little while Max finishes school.

      Thankfully Elle is a worker and has built a pretty awesome little business with her full-time graphic design. They also have student loans they have been super conscientious about. These two value travel more than most people I know, so they have put that as a priority before Carson dives into residency and have been planning this out for a long time. Pretty fun right? It’s a sacrifice for sure, and they know some people are not in a position to do that, but they feel so thankful they’ve been able to figure out this little plan (with a lot of work). I’m so excited for them!

  3. You say “Dave and I both work from home”. Did you go back to work after all those years? Or do you mean that you do your podcast, all of your church stuff from home? (those are not the same thing)
    I was home for 13 years when my girls were little but I returned to the classroom and have been back full time for 7 years now. I can’t even imagine never going back to work and having to work. That must be wonderful!

    1. I just mean that we both have the flexibility to work from home doing what we do, and we are pretty grateful for that. I do call this blog, the podcast, and some other work projects in the works my “work,” as I work to grow my business little by little. It takes so much more work and time than you would think. Definitely not the same thing as working in the classroom or a lab or a corporation, you’re right about that. But I do find value in it because it’s what I love. I’m so grateful I get to work with other mothers to try to promote strong families and honor motherhood in any way I can. I so honor you for working in the classroom as well. I bet you are making a difference in whatever capacity you are working, and I hope that gives you satisfaction.

    2. why is it not the same thing? why is the unpaid labor women contribute to the economy and society not considered the “same thing” ? This blog has ads which I’m sure generates some income. but also one of the things i like about shawni and her family is how they elevate traditionally women’s roles to something worth learning and improving the same way you would a job skill that produces a W-2.

      and i say this as a woman with a graduate degree who has never taken more than a few months off from working outside the home. i respect the choices of all women.

  4. So many great things going on in your part of the world!! Thank you for posting such uplifting pieces! I have a quick question about your shame chart… it intrigues me. Can you clarify what it entails? I’d love to learn more!

    1. Oh I do need to talk about that! It is a pretty fascinating class I’m taking, I’ll have to do a post on it soon.

  5. Oh, Palo Alto! How exciting! It’s such a beautiful spot on earth. And Charity’s old stomping ground. I bet she has some great tips! Good luck!

  6. Sounds like some amazing things happening!! First choice for Carson’s residency! That’s awesome

    A thought to a few of the early comments: people’s work choices are very personal. And owning your own choices and opportunities and options, while allowing others to have different paths will really add to your own personal well-being!

    1. She did ask, perhaps rhetorical, how her kid and son in law should afford to live in Palo Alto for 3 years. The answer is make a lot of money, don’t take trips, student loans and have low expectations. I am sure they could manage a 1 bedroom. They do earn money. Lucy does not have to go to college. I hope the desire is why she is thinking of going and not cause it’s expected with all the examples of siblings and cousins around her.. My kid gets extra time too for the SAT/PSAT, I can’t imagine making him suffer through a tutor for it.

      1. Lucy begged for a tutor and is so into this ACT thing. I think part of it is that she just yearns so much for independence and she feels like college will give it to her. We’ve tried to talk through how many colleges don’t even require ACT test scores any more but she’s not having it. She also is adamant that she’s going to take the SAT too, despite the fact that none of her siblings have taken that one. She’s one determined girl I tell you!

  7. Your blog always gives me a lift. Thanks for sharing. My husband and I both grew up in Palo Alto. Of course, nowadays housing is expensive. All things are possible however. One possibility could be “house sitting.” My sister did this with her family while building their own new house. There are always people who need to have their home lived in and tended while they are away for extended periods.

    1. Thank you Patricia. Yes, they are looking for that kind of a situation. They have all kinds of feelers out. We’ll see what they find!

    2. So a two income couple with no kids instead of paying rent or rent at market value would live in a rich person’s spare house or house jump over many homes for 3 years? Gosh the rich just live different from everyone else. Probably end up in a senior missionary couple’s home.

  8. Hi Shawni,
    Feel free to take this or leave it, but I think when people phrase things so that it seems like women are choosing to work outside the home or inside the home, it really doesn’t sit right for everyone. The word choose — because so many people don’t have the option to choose something different there — and the false dichotomy of working outside the home or in. All mothers work at home taking care of their kids, whether they also have an income-making job or not. Mom’s who work outside the home are often taking care of logistics for them on lunch breaks, rearranging work schedules to attend school functions or doctor appointments or pick up a sick kid, etc. and are always thinking about the kids and their needs. I don’t think you mean to paint this as an either or, but for me, that’s how it comes across when people use this kind of language.

    All that to say, I’m so glad that Abby is getting to spend more time with Murphy and hope she’s had a smooth transition into her new work balance!

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