The girls and I all got a bad case of IWAN at the lake this summer.

And really, how can you blame us with this sweet girl hanging around?

Sadly, I don’t think a baby is on the horizon for our family.
So maybe a dog??

Maybe I need to re-read Elle’s persuasive sixth-grade essay over HERE to gear myself up…

…and then wait for a few more years…

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  1. Even though it seems your David isn't into the idea of a dog…. I used to work with an organization that used dogs for therapy for children who needed extra help. There have been many studies that show how dogs help with children and development. Maybe you can do a "Trial Run" for a couple months and see what comes of it. (You could even get an "already trained" dog.) Dogs…are just pure unconditional love…little Zen Masters in furry coats.

    (Since you are all neat-nicks as well…go for one with a short coat and a cheery disposition.)

  2. We recently got a cat. It's been our first pet as a family and I am so excited! I feel like it has filled that little hole of wanting another baby but not being quite ready yet (I've got 3 kids 4 and under). She's a kitty and just so fun to have around! She loves to cuddle and is SO easy to take care of (especially compared to dogs).

  3. I have to giggle. Your IWAN posts have always tickled me. We have 3 and our youngest is 8. We had to do fertility to get the ones we had and never imagined having another. I would ask my hubby all the time if we could try for another. Finally he said YES! I was so excited and then I was like wait… what do you mean? He said, if you think you can make a baby, go ahead. Haha. My body doesn't cooperate. Anyway, I was at learning circle with Saren in February and talking about how silly it would be to have a baby at my age when my youngest was almost 8 and I had just had a disk replaced in my back. So that was that and it was over…. Now we are having a baby. Unreal.

  4. While I totally get your IWAN posts and have a bit of that myself (5 is more then enough for me though) I have to say that baby shot is hilarious with the little boy in the background who looks like he is using the traditional little boy bathroom! I vote for a dog I lost mine this spring and now that enough time has passed I have a bad case of IWAD.

  5. Don't do it! Dogs are a lot of work (if you're taking care of them right) and they make it hard to pick up and go anywhere. You always have to worry about how long the dog will be home alone or who will watch him while you're out of town or not be able to go somewhere last minute because you have to make plans in advance for the dog. Whenever someone talks about getting a dog, I tell them not to do it, but then add that if you're going to get a dog, you absolutely must get him trained and socialize him like crazy! But mostly, don't do it!

  6. A while back you said that Max was starting to date and you were so excited. One-on-one dating amid teenage hormones is a good way to end up with a newborn in a different way than you want.

    No matter how much religious instruction they've had. Hormones don't always respond in a logical way and tend to ignore the brain.

  7. Ha! That picture is so funny with little boy in the background taking care of business!

    I love newborns too, always will. My youngest just grew out of the newborn stage…I appreciate getting more sleep now, but they're only newborns a few weeks. I tried to soak him in as much as I could!

  8. I vote for a baby! I always want one too, but my youngest is 7 and my oldest is a sophomore in college. Still…. maybe I could live vicariously through you! 😉

    (And reader, Max didn't go out one-on-one, and goodness!)

  9. Sarcasm noted, Cheryl. Nothing personal against Max, Elle, or any teenager – it's just not wise in my opinion to encourage teens to be alone with the opposite sex without a chaperone.

    Many teens are super religious, loyal to their church and parents and have very high moral standards. But sometimes, since we are all imperfect, if we put ourselves in a questionable situation, the feelings are sometimes too strong and mistakes are made.

    Better to encourage group dating until they are ready to get married. Again, just my opinion.

  10. Lovely pics…… totally know the feelings of IWAN. I am blessed with just one little girl who we waited 8 years for.

    Maria…. Max went on a double date with his friend so it wasn't one on one dating. I would be a proud Mom too.

  11. What does dating have to do with getting a dog anyway? Very random and unnecessary.

    I vote for the dog. Our dog became a member of our family five years ago. While she was a lot of work as a puppy, she has given so much more back to us. Can't imagine life without her now!

  12. Hi Jolene – the blog post was "a baby or a dog" the first sentence of which was "The girls and I all got a bad case of IWAN at the lake this summer."

    So dating has nothing to do with getting a dog, but could have a lot to do with getting a baby. So that's what I was referring to, since you asked.

    And I am happy to hear that it was a double date- I must have missed that part. Shawni is so good at keeping her family in a spiritual way, I should have known.

  13. I think the little boy is playing golf in the background.

    If her child has a child that would make her a grandparent, whenever that happens. Babies are a blessing.

    Anything can happen any time, any place. Whether her children wait is dependent in them not her. They were double dating. But closeness can happen when a person is not even technically on a date, single or double.

  14. Babies are not a blessing when they are birthed by unmarried teens. They are a burden on everyone involved. They can't help it and deserve our help and support but blessing is not the term I would use.

    And their church, if it is any kind of church at all, should ex-communicate them for having pre-marital sex.

    1. Maria, really??? I can not believe you would read This post and come up with all these un-nessesary comments!
      Babies are always a blessing!! And ex-communicate?!? When we make mistakes, that is when we need the church the most!

    2. Mercy is one of the key elements of our Savior Jesus Christ. Everyone makes mistakes and his live is extended to all. Teens do make mistakes (even those who don't single date), I would hope they would be shown love and inclusion in times of need. One of my good friends growing up got pregnant at age 16 and said it is what turned her life around because of the love of her ward members and her family. She gave the baby up for adoption and is now happily married with 4 other children and very dedicated to the church. Imagine how different her life would have been had she been turned away and shunned.

  15. I vote for a dog or at least a pet. I'm watching my thirteen year old right now kiss her parrot and tell him that everything will be all right, he can step on her finger. He'll be safe.

    I love it. She takes such good care of him. My eleven-year-old has a rabbit, and she is her baby too. Two years ago, we lucked out to get two already trained dogs from an elderly woman who couldn't take care of them any longer. They are perfect and my kids adore them.

    Yay for pets! (And babies 🙂 )

    Here's a link to an Ensign article actually encouraging pets! It's called "Living After the Manner of Happiness," by Marlin K. Jensen

  16. Have you ever thought about raising a puppy to be a Guide Dog for the Blind? Yes, it's hard to give them back, but it's also a shorter term commitment and those dogs change lives in ways never thought possible.

  17. Don't get a dog. You can borrow ours. Just yesterday I was cursing the sky because I had to be the poop scooper. I do love Elder Jensen, though, so…I'll fast for you so you can come to a sensible resolution.

  18. Okay, I totally have to weigh in here! We got a dog two years ago. I really could not believe that I let my guard down and allowed it to happen. However…IT WAS THE BEST THING I EVER DID!! God was giving me exactly what I needed but I couldnt' see it at the time. That dog has taught my kids so much about responsibility, caring for anothers needs, and unconditional love. Piper has brought so much joy to our family.
    Time is short. Get the dog.

  19. Kelly Park, so if you had a 15 year old unmarried daughter who became pregnant while still in high school, in spite of all the religious and moral training provided by you and by the church, you would consider that a blessing? Not the baby itself, who is innocent, but the situation? Seriously?

    Also, regarging being ex-communicated, this is a direct quote from the website:

    "Disfellowshipment is usually temporary, though not necessarily brief. Disfellowshipped persons retain membership in the Church. They are encouraged to attend public Church meetings, but are not entitled to offer public prayers or to give talks. They may not hold a Church position, take the sacrament, vote in the sustaining of Church officers, hold a temple recommend, or exercise the priesthood. They may, however, pay tithes and offerings and continue to wear temple garments if endowed.

    "Excommunication is the most severe judgment a Church disciplinary council can take. Excommunicated persons are no longer members of the Church. Therefore, they are denied the privileges of Church membership, including the wearing of temple garments and the payment of tithes and offerings. They may attend public Church meetings, but, like disfellowshipped persons, their participation in such meetings is limited. Excommunicated persons are encouraged to repent and so live as to qualify for eventual baptism."

  20. Cheryl – according to the website, those members who are disfellowshipped or ex-communicated are unrepentant. It is done in the hopes that they will, by being being denied church fellowship and privileges, that they will see the error of their ways. Then, they can be welcomed back into the fold, or ward, or whatever it's called. It's not permanent.

  21. Good grief people. How is it that this lovely person, Shawni, can just post awesome things about her family that are totally hers and personal and people start conversations that have nothing to do with what she has posted or intended in the first place. If you want to be able to start a public forum about what ever subject you may, then do that, but not on another persons personal blog. Also, keep it civil and non accusatory for goodness sakes. I for one absolutely enjoy reading about this family and the personal thoughts of this seemingly lovely person (Shawni). I have never met her and even if I had, I still don't "know" her. Just keep your negative comments and judgements to yourself. Stay on topic, express goodness, kindness and love.

  22. I'm not going to continue the discussion either, since no one here wants to discuss anything. They just want to gush over how Shawni is their hero, which I seem to remember, she does not appreciate. She wants us to "keep it real".

    I think Shawni not only puts this stuff up here to share with people, she would welcome polite discussion stemming from her posts, even if they are a little off topic.

    Shawni is not so shallow as to expect all comments to be "Oh Shawni, I love your blog and your family…." like most of them are.

  23. Hi Shawni-My husband and I have a dog (no babies, yet) and I love her dearly, BUT it is a lot of work. We do have to plan when we go out of town and she can't come, what we do with her. I suppose, in a very small way, a primer for parenthood. You can't come and go as you please. If your children still want a dog, maybe for an FHE you could volunteer to help out an animal shelter. Those dogs certainly would love some children to play with them (and you don't have to worry about picking up any poop!)!

    @Katy–I was reading the comments from bottom up, so I read your comment and thought, "They named their dog Elder Jensen?!" because I didn't see anyone had referenced a talk from him above. Anywhoo, I started laughing out loud at school and probably sounded like a lunatic.

    @Maria–I appreciate your trying to understand how LDS discipline works, regarding disfellowshipping and excommunicating. It can be complicated trying to sort through another faith's policies and procedures. Disciplinary decisions start at the ward (like a parish) and stake (like a diocese) level, decided by bishops, stake presidents, and a council. From what I've seen, when it comes to teenagers, excommunication is rarely the course of action, and instead, disfellowshipping happens. However, those decisions are prayerfully considered. As you can imagine, disfellowshipping and excommunication can be an incredibly heartbreaking experience for the individual, and their families. No matter what course of action is prayerfully decided upon, and no matter the sin or the circumstance, the hope is the individual will use the redeeming power of Christ and become a bit better than they were before. Thank heavens we have the opportunity to repent. I know I need to exercise that opportunity daily!

  24. Thanks, Whitney. I know the ultimate goal, whatever the religion, is that the person repents and turns around from their sinful course and reconciles themselves to their church and to God.

  25. Oh my goodness, I'm not sure what I'm doing to attract so many controversial comments! The last couple days have been crazy so I haven't had a chance to check in much but I just did and wow. I'm not sure what to say about all that.

    I will say that my nephew is actually playing croquet in the background behind that baby in that one picture, and his pants are kind of falling down. It would be much funnier if he really was taking care of business over there though :). For whoever was worried about Max dating, just rest assured that we only encourage double/group dating. I just love for kids to get to know each other in a wholesome way that's not texting or tweeting.

    Let's try to keep things positive around here ok? Love all you blog readers so much and I so appreciate that everyone has their own viewpoints, but I want people who come here to feel love and hope and light, not contention. Maria and kms I am always so impressed with your knowledge of the LDS church. I hope in your studies that you will find that the bottom line in the gospel is love as Cheryl pointed out. I wrote all about what I think about that over here:

    No matter what the "discipline" is, it is hopefully always done with complete humility and love with as much prayer for guidance as possible. Whitney, thank you for your eloquent explanation of Mormon doctrine and reminding us all what a blessing it is that we have the gift of repentance.

    As always, thanks everyone for the sweet comments. I so appreciate them.

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