My birthday arrives right after Claire’s.

And I have a lot to say about that one (it was a big one this year), but for now, let’s just bask in the fact that Dave got the married kids home to celebrate (most thoughtful gift in the whole wide world), and they all proclaimed it my very own weekend.

So, of course a hike was in order.

Even Lucy came along and brought her smile.

Helped clinging to her faithful sister to maneuver her way up and over the path:

And I was just basking in the glory that all these people are mine.

And that the desert is there for me to enjoy as well.

We played some kind of game the kids made up sitting in the shadow of a gigantic boulder.

I must be the luckiest girl ever.

Missed Grace terribly, of course, but man alive, so good to be surrounded by these kids.

And that handsome husband who made all this possible.

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  1. Hi Shawni. I just moved here to Chandler, AZ and was wondering where you and went hiking for your birthday? I would love to explore some great hiking places here in the valley and around Arizona. I appreciate the helpful information in advance.

    P.S. Thank you for sharing all your positive content with the rest of us. You and your family are such great examples of spreading goodness even during the hard times. As well as sharing your light and your sense of adventure.

    1. I was so lucky and went for so many hikes for my birthday! More on those soon, but this one in particular was called Treasure Loop Trail. Do you use “All Trails” app? It’s so helpful!

  2. Happy late Birthday! I will be vacationing in your area next month- I’d love to do this hike. What is it called? I agree, there’s no sweeter gift than having your family all together. 🙂

  3. Shawni, I’d love to hear what general conference talks you’ve used for your past Relief Society lessons. Thanks!

      1. I can’t get the document to open up but here are a few from lately:

        Elder Soares’ talk “The Savior’s Abiding Compassion.” Here:

        “Hold Up Your Light” by Elder Marcus B. Nash here:

        “Not as the World Giveth” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland which is here:

        Last week we talked about this one from Elder Rasband:

        The week before we taught together as a presidency all about the “Love, Share, Invite” message from the first presidency here:

        (That last one is our RS theme for this year, and we introduced it with some strong feelings we’ve been having that it is not just about sharing the church, it is about sharing our lives, the love of the Savior, inviting God into our lives more, inviting others to let us help carry burdens, etc. So much to say about that I’ll have to do a post about it some time.)

  4. Happy Birthday Shawni! I am heading to AZ in April with three of my sisters and can’t wait to do some of these hikes. Looks like it was great day 🙂

    1. See above for hike info, and definitely look up the “all trails” app. But I am determined to do a “favorite hike” post at some point!

    2. Maybe you should take a drive up to Sedona one of the days too…it is one of my favorite places for beauty and hiking!

  5. Poor Lucy, what a trooper! Going so far out of her comfort zone to make Mama happy. I’m sure every time she goes on one of these hikes and has to be helped by family, it makes her feel her own limitations so much more sharply. Maybe for your next birthday you might choose to play a family board game or see a movie for your “special day”.

    1. Oh believe me, Lucy was glowing on this hike. And so did her sister as they bonded along the trail. We chose an easier one just for her so we could all do it together. I don’t know about you, but we all agree over here that it is a beautiful thing to work together to do something that pushes us a little, and rest assured Lucy was pretty pleased about it! (I think choosing things like this actually makes limitations disappear because she can do them!) Also rest assured we were spilling over with games at home all weekend as well, since Lucy loves them.

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